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Updated: Cyclist dies after collision with garbage truck

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on October 22nd, 2007 at 1:45 pm

[Updated: 3:58pm with photos from the scene.]
Photo taken from the
scene at 2:17pm.
More photos below
(Photo © Jonathan Maus)

A bicyclist died in a collision with a garbage truck sometime around 12:30 today at the northwest corner of N. Interstate and Greeley in North Portland. I'm on the scene right now and just finished talking with Traffic Division Lieutenant Mark Kruger as well as other people on the scene.

Based on those conversations, here's what seemed to have happen:

  • The bicyclist (who was in a marked bike lane) and the truck were traveling south (downhill) on N. Interstate Ave.
  • The truck overtook the cyclist mid-way down the hill.
  • The truck signaled a turn to go right (south) on Greeley and then it collided with the bicyclist the bike and truck collided with each other.


According to Kruger, the driver says he checked his mirrors before making the turn and he also had a passenger with him when the collision occurred.

The police have done blood work on the driver and initial statements say there appears to be no impairment involved.

The scene:
The truck came to a stop at the apex of the corner of N. Interstate and Greeley. The intersection is the first intersection at the end of a long (and fast if you're on a bike) downhill that begins up at Overlook Park. The bike is still wedged almost entirely beneath the rear wheels of the truck. It appears to be a high-end black Orbea road bike.

A few news crews were on the scene (I just did an interview with KGW) and I expect coverage on the local TV stations tonight at 5:00.

I imagine it will be several hours before we know the identity of the victim. Lt. Kruger says it was a male in what appeared to be his mid-30s. The medical examiner is not able to release the name yet. The victim was Brett Jarolimek.


Note: This is within several yards of where that cyclist was involved with a strange run-in with a MAX train a few weeks ago.

More photos from the scene (These were all taken from 2:10 to 2:30pm):

The man in the uniform (with orange stripe) is the driver of the truck.
(Photo © Jonathan Maus)
(Photo © Jonathan Maus)

*Note: If you're trying to reach me by phone, I dropped it in water this morning and it's still not working. Please use email if you can - jonathan[at]bikeportland[dot]org.

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Comments
  • Tasha October 22, 2007 at 1:51 pm

    Why Why Why? This is getting scary and rediculous.

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  • Dour October 22, 2007 at 2:18 pm

    I don\'t mean to sound cinical but I don\'t think this is grounds for getting freaked out. I think another ghost bike and ride of silence would be in order, but don\'t get scared. It\'s the beginning of the rainy season, there are always a bunch of accidents during the start of the rainy season.

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  • kevin October 22, 2007 at 2:19 pm

    It was at the intersection of Greely and Interstate.

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  • jonno October 22, 2007 at 2:20 pm

    Looks like another right hook, folks, if the KGW pic is accurate. Right turning traffic onto Greeley from southbound Interstate crosses both a bike lane and a crosswalk at that intersection.

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  • BURR October 22, 2007 at 2:22 pm

    It\'s not raining today, so I don\'t think that\'s a valid excuse

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  • Big Diesel October 22, 2007 at 2:22 pm

    Looks like another cyclist was not paying attention yet again..... How many will it take ?????

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  • gus October 22, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    The Greeley/Interstate intersection is notably dangerous, especially when cyclists on the southbound grade are not prepared for light changes, \'right on red\' traffic (regardless of potential driver culpability) or ignore traffic signals altogether.

    In any case, my sympathies are extended to the cyclists family and to the driver as well.

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  • Donald October 22, 2007 at 2:38 pm

    O-Live is reporting a pedestrian injured as well.

    Let\'s see how this works itself out.

    However, I can see in the response from the TV station sites that news directors are eagerly sniffing the wind for controversy. November sweeps are coming...

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  • Robin October 22, 2007 at 2:40 pm

    Perhaps people should leave there speculations for after the details come out. Regardless I pray this is the last incident.

    Lets all keep our heads up out there.

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  • Michael R October 22, 2007 at 2:41 pm

    Big Diesel (#4) what makes you write that? Judging by the photo this happened a few yards after the intersection.

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  • Tasha October 22, 2007 at 2:48 pm

    Michael - where are you seeing a photo?

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  • Anonymous October 22, 2007 at 2:49 pm

    There is a picture on the KGW-TV site. Hard to tell much from it.

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  • Michael R October 22, 2007 at 2:51 pm

    Tasha, photo at:
    http://www.kgw.com/news-local/stories/kgw_101907_news_bicyclist_killed.19726ae10.html

    I\'m also refreshing the story at Oregonlive, no photos there yet.

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  • Jen October 22, 2007 at 2:56 pm

    I rode by minutes after it happened. I saw the bike under the back inside right set of truck wheels and thought I saw the rider under the truck as well. The truck driver was visibly upset and I assumed he hadn\'t signalled his right turn.

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  • Kate October 22, 2007 at 2:56 pm

    My thoughts and condolencesare with the friends and family of this cyclist.

    Please be safe, everyone!

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  • brd October 22, 2007 at 2:58 pm

    Jonathan,

    I do not know the details but wanted to report that last Wednesday morning the timings of the Interstate and Greeley lights were changed. I came through the intersection and car passed behind me. I thought they ran a red light but when turning to look at their light I saw they had not and for a brief second both lights were green. I called the city\'s traffic office after I saw a close car on car wreck that evening. On Thursday the Overlook neighborhood association sent out a warning about changes with that light.
    It will make me frustrated if the cause of this accident was due to the light timing changes.

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  • rixtir October 22, 2007 at 3:00 pm

    brd, that will be extremely important information if that was indeed the cause of this collision.

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  • Wendy October 22, 2007 at 3:02 pm

    Not that there are *any* details yet (looking at you Big Diesel) but Interstate @ Greeley is really scary. Vehicles frequently make that right turn without signaling and the light change can be sudden making it difficult to come to a stop if you\'ve got enough speed going down the hill.

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  • DK October 22, 2007 at 3:02 pm

    By the photo, it appears the person was riding down Greeley and then cut across to pick-up Interstate on the inside (or wrong side) lane and didn\'t see the truck as it rounded the corner. I may be speculating, but that\'s a spot I ride through every weekday. I\'ll be getting another call from mom to make sure it wasn\'t me. Sooooo sad!

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  • DK October 22, 2007 at 3:08 pm

    I was wrong in my speculating. Got to ride defensively out there. Figure that a vehicle doesn\'t see you at all...100% of the time.

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  • David Dean October 22, 2007 at 3:09 pm

    I road down Interstate today and that truck was in a position that made it appear like it was making a right turn from Interstate southbound onto Greeley. You can see it in the photo.

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  • Qwendolyn October 22, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    very sad

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  • Ian Clemons October 22, 2007 at 3:15 pm

    I ride this way to and from work every shift I have at Kaiser\'s urgent care at the top of the hill. That intersection is dangerous and I always feel it is my solemn responsibility to watch for the drivers making that right turn onto Greely. The hill is a great place to pick-up speed to the Rose Quarter, so I think a lot of us get going so fast that we don\'t want to slow down if there is a potential problem.

    This makes me very sad. All my coworkers are worried about my safety as I ride home.

    To the rest of you who ride this area and are thinking it\'s too dangerous: remember that there is a wide sidewalk you can take with a controlled, signaled crosswalk at the bottom of the hill. Keep riding!

    -Ian

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  • tonyt October 22, 2007 at 3:17 pm

    He \"checked his mirrors.\"

    Regardless of whether he checked his mirrors or not, what exactly does he thing happens to cyclists once he passes them?? Do they magically disappear?

    You pass them . . . and guess what?? They\'re still there!

    There\'s a phase in childhood development when a child realizes that even though you\'ve covered something up, it\'s still there!

    Apparently there are adults running around who haven\'t gotten through that phase.

    Just shaking my head and waiting for him to be \"not cited.\"

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  • rixtir October 22, 2007 at 3:20 pm

    Big Diesel, Post 4:

    Looks like another cyclist was not paying attention yet again..... How many will it take ?????

    As opposed to the driver, who passed a cyclist, and then made a turn?

    Was this one of those cyclists tonyt is talking about, who \"magically disappear\" once you pass them? Is that how it works in Big Diesel land?

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  • Jessy October 22, 2007 at 3:23 pm

    I think this IS grounds for getting freaked out. How many deaths in Portland city limits this year? If I remember right, we successfully made it through 2006 without a single one. And there have been many this year and we still have over two months left to go.

    Very, very sad.

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  • Donald October 22, 2007 at 3:24 pm

    TonyT refers to object permanence.

    Yeah, I think drivers are often surprised to see me keeping up with them when they \"think\" they have passed me.

    I was explaining the difference in California and Oregon bike lane law to my non-biking co-workers today and they asked me which I preferred.

    This and the downtown cement truck incident have me re-evaluating my thoughts. I\'m sure the folks who are going to comment are typing as I do...

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  • Fritz October 22, 2007 at 3:26 pm

    Re; post #19
    I believe that it\'s called object permanence or something to that effect. I\'m getting tired of this \"I cant see it so it must not be there\" mentality with PDX drivers...
    Godspeed rider...

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  • DK October 22, 2007 at 3:31 pm

    Cyclists can get their speed going and keep up with most big trucks and some cars on the hill. I wonder what the driver saw when he \"checked\" his mirror, probably nothing if the rider was in the ever famous blind spot. What was everybody thinking here? And it was the most beautiful day on top of it all.

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  • anne.o October 22, 2007 at 3:31 pm

    What I don\'t understand in these cases* is this: the truck MUST HAVE PASSED THE CYCLIST at some point prior to the crash. Therefore, the driver knew that there was a cyclist nearby on the road and should have taken extra care.

    Shouldn\'t drivers be held accountable for keeping track of the \"big picture\" around their vehicles instead of being allowed to say, \"Oh well, I checked my mirror and I didn\'t see anything...\"?

    *Circumstances surrounding the cement truck incident make this scenario possible, but unclear. In the case of the garbage struck, it does sound quite probable that the driver did pass the cyclist in advance of the crash, and therefore should have known the cyclist was there.

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  • rixtir October 22, 2007 at 3:33 pm

    Here\'s what I\'m thinking. If you\'re in an accident, and you kill somebody, and you\'re found at fault in any judicial proceeding, you lose your license for life. Period.

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  • Fritz October 22, 2007 at 3:42 pm

    Sorry- the comment in post #28 was in reference to post #24 not #19

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  • tonyt October 22, 2007 at 3:45 pm

    It ain\'t an \"accident\" rixtir.

    It\'s a collision caused by failure to follow the law and common freakin\' sense.

    Call it carelessness, inattention, disregard for safety, whatever you want, but not an accident.

    That word needs to be abolished relative to road collisions. It absolves people of their responsibility, as if nothing could have been done to prevent it. Oops.

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  • 007 October 22, 2007 at 3:54 pm

    Another one of ours killed AGAIN! Trucks, buses, etc. with high front ends need better mirrors such as those big round ones mounted at the FRONT of the vehicle.

    The mirrors they are using today obviously are not adequate and this needs to be addressed YESTERDAY!

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  • BURR October 22, 2007 at 3:55 pm

    @ #6, looks like another truck driver not paying attention again. How many of these will it take????

    A truck driver who can\'t judge the speed of a cyclist/vehicle he is overtaking and then makes a fatal right turn across their path should not have a CDL.

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  • rixtir October 22, 2007 at 3:55 pm

    In the law, there are accidental injuries, and there are intentional injuries. If the driver didn\'t intend to kill the other person, it\'s an \"accident.\" if the driver did intend to kill the other person, it\'s \"intentional.\"

    The legal meanings shouldn\'t be confused with the road safety meanings.

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  • mj October 22, 2007 at 3:57 pm

    Terrible to see another collision & death.

    Keep safe everyone!

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  • Bjorn October 22, 2007 at 3:57 pm

    I paid extra for the convex mirrors that are on my van, because they eliminate my blind spots. I couldn\'t imagine driving a large vehicle without them now. If you have never seen these before find some and check them out to get an idea of how they work. If he really looked in a properly adjusted convex mirror before turning the cyclist would have been visible.

    Bjorn

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  • lyle October 22, 2007 at 4:08 pm

    i really fail to see how this can be anything other than the truck driver\'s fault.

    with the bike lane bisecting and crossing the turn lane, it\'s exactly the same thing as a car merging into the next lane and hitting a car in the lane it\'s driving in.

    flat out, if you turn/merge into a lane and are hit by a car that\'s doing anything short of speeding excessively or driving impaired, it\'s YOUR FAULT.

    i\'d like to see LT. Kruger state otherwise.

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  • Mmann October 22, 2007 at 4:13 pm

    I am so so sorry for all involved. And this is starting to kind of freak me out. Just last week I (once again) had a driver pass me then immediately turn right into a gas station driveway. I shouted, clamped the brakes, and swerved into the driveway myself missing being hit by inches. All of us who ride regularly have these stories. I can\'t help thinking that in the majority of these situations it\'s a simple case of someone in a vehicle in a hurry. What a waste.

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  • Mike Perrault October 22, 2007 at 4:13 pm

    What can we do to make this stop? There are already laws about yielding to cyclists for a right turn, but obviously that isn\'t working. I think we should file a suit against the companies who aren\'t using convex mirrors and who don\'t require frequent driving skills test.
    Wildfire fighters(I\'m one thank you) are required to go through an 8 hour course every year before they can go out and fight. Why not drivers? Obviously they are not capable of driving their rigs without causing harm.

    Mike

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  • Tbird October 22, 2007 at 4:16 pm

    This has to stop!
    We need laws to punish motorists (commercial & private), and protect cyclists on the road.
    We need to separate bike lanes on high traffic streets!
    This has to stop!

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  • chris October 22, 2007 at 4:18 pm

    Hi
    I rode down Interstate this morning down the hill, the light pattern was strange at this very intersection, it was red, and I was slowing down well ahead uphill, then it changed to green for only, like 2 seconds...then turned turned yellow/red instantly i slowed down instantly as there was a rider in front of me as well and he turned to me and said, \"that was strange\" I said the same thing, then we went on the green...I think the same thing happened to this rider, but he didn\'t have a chance to stop instantly. this sends chills up my spine cause if i was down that hill at a fast speed seeing the green light, I\'d assume it would stay for more than 2 seconds.

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  • rixtir October 22, 2007 at 4:19 pm

    A bit of clarification:

    tonyt posted:

    It ain\'t an \"accident\" rixtir.

    It\'s a collision caused by failure to follow the law and common freakin\' sense.

    Call it carelessness, inattention, disregard for safety, whatever you want, but not an accident.

    That word needs to be abolished relative to road collisions. It absolves people of their responsibility, as if nothing could have been done to prevent it. Oops.

    To which I replied:

    In the law, there are accidental injuries, and there are intentional injuries. If the driver didn\'t intend to kill the other person, it\'s an \"accident.\" if the driver did intend to kill the other person, it\'s \"intentional.\"

    The legal meanings shouldn\'t be confused with the road safety meanings.

    Actually, what you described tonyt is \"negligent injury,\" which is \"accidental\"-- as distinguished from \"intentional injury.\" However, calling an injury \"accidental\" does not absolve the person at fault of their responsibility-- they\'re still liable for their negligence.

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  • Elliot October 22, 2007 at 4:20 pm

    This needs to stop, now. The police must start enforcing the laws, and penalize people for taking illegal actions that result in a person\'s death.

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  • Tasha October 22, 2007 at 4:20 pm

    I don’t look at these things as “whose fault is it”, I look it as “how can everyone be safer on the roads?. When there are two “accidents” within less than two weeks of each other, something’s got to give. Bikers need to be more aware, even over cautious for awhile and cars (especially trucks) need to slow WAY down and be super diligent about checking their mirrors and using their turn signals.

    I know ever since Tracey was killed, I have been almost annoyingly obedient of traffic signals, and a little slower when I approach intersections where cars might be turning right, especially as the wet weather sets in and days gets darker and shorter. I don’t want to live in mortal fear of getting killed by a car, but with close calls almost every single day, I feel we must be proactive for our own safety.

    And something needs to be done about these blind spots and better safety training for drivers of large vehicles.

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  • jonno October 22, 2007 at 4:22 pm

    Can we start a right-hook awareness campaign? I\'ve nearly been done in by several careless drivers over the years when on my bike. When I drive, I always, always check over my right shoulder before making the turn. I realize that big, high trucks may be harder to see out of, but that\'s no excuse. Get bigger mirrors, install cameras, something. Anything.

    In lieu of that, maybe we should just ride smack in the middle of the road, all the time. No bikes on the right == no chance for a right hook.

    Any catchy slogan ideas?

    \"Be all right --> look right, go right.\"

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  • rixtir October 22, 2007 at 4:24 pm

    Elliot, the police don\'t penalize anybody, the courts do. And in Oregon, we simply don\'t have adequate laws with which to penalize somebody who negligently takes a life. If you want that to change, you\'re going to have to work for it.

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  • rixtir October 22, 2007 at 4:25 pm

    Bikers need to be more aware, even over cautious for awhile

    For awhile?

    Bikers ALWAYS need to be over cautious.

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  • BURR October 22, 2007 at 4:25 pm

    @ # 41

    1. File a lawsuit against the city regarding the flawed bike lane designs they are using.

    2. Reassign all the officers on the traffic division with glaring pro-motorist/anti-cyclist attitudes and agendas, and start throwing the book at these truck drivers.

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  • Motorist October 22, 2007 at 4:26 pm

    This incident reminds me that there is something I\'ve been meaning to post here. Is there a forum where motorists can ask specific questions about how to handle various areas? There are some places (Like when coming off of the Hawthorne Bridge) that seem well defined in the eyes of the law but don\'t seem to work that way. I don\'t want to hurt anyone, and I always watch out for everyone (including those I often see run redlights and stop signs, and I mean that as bikes, pedestrians and motorists).. but anyway, some areas seem impossible, and I\'m never sure how to handle it short of stopping int he middle of the road.

    Thanks.

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  • lyle October 22, 2007 at 4:27 pm

    \"In lieu of that, maybe we should just ride smack in the middle of the road, all the time. No bikes on the right == no chance for a right hook.\"

    yeah, right. except that people will just get pissed off, pass into the opposite direction lane to get by, and then right hook you as they\'re getting back into the right lane.

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  • Jordan October 22, 2007 at 4:31 pm

    Question: Since it was a garbage truck, they often have driver\'s seats on the right side of the vehicle, what side of the truck was the driver sitting on when the accident happened?

    Very sad, indeed. We all as users of the roads have to be aware of our surroundings. I think that our drivers education needs to be expanded, to include cycling safety, both drivers and cyclists, in light of all the recent deaths.

    The Oregonian had a editoral on Sunday about the numbers of people killed each year due to auto accidents. We as a society need to make it a piority to keep each other safe.

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  • Mike` October 22, 2007 at 4:31 pm

    Ok people here is the deal,

    Most of the cyclist in this city do a decent job of sharing the road and following the rules of street level cycling. However us drivers of the the \"Death Machines\" have noticed alot of cyclist being extreamly disregardent of commen sence and or intelligable thinking while they are \"Sharing\" the road. These trucks do not stop on a dime. These trucks do not have the periferal view that you do on a bike. These trucks weigh up to 108000lbs and have a three second delay from the time a driver notices he needs to stop untill he actually starts to stop.
    So when an irradic cyclist is traveling at a snails pace in the non opposing lane of traffic and you pass them and then 45 seconds later after you HAVE BEEN RIDING YOUR BRAKES DOWN A 4.5% GRADED HILL start to make a right hand turn with Blinker on clearly identifying intention to turn and check mirrorsto see same said cyclist 20 yrds behind you, you start to turn not knowing that the dummy on a bike has not been slowing at all and is now out speeding you by 5 - 10 mph. Smells like a crap when ist thrown back huh.

    Next time you see a garbage truck or any other large vehicle pretend that the driver is blind, even if you have made direct eye contact never assume.

    hay this might be a fair equivalant to what happened today. A speeding car trys to pass a slow moving train. Car knows what the train will do. The train might even know what the car is going to do. Doesnt mean the train can stop intime.

    Lets not forget the cyclist collided with my co-worker.

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  • Matthew October 22, 2007 at 4:32 pm

    \"The truck overtook the cyclist, then made a right hand turn\".

    Sigh.

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  • Bill Kloos October 22, 2007 at 4:33 pm

    In response to post # 16 from brd regarding the traffic signal timing:

    City Signals & St. Lighting staff did make some signal timing changes last Wednesday at N Interstate & Greeley to improve efficiency. While observing the new timing, we noticed that several north-bound left-turners seemed to be running the red light. So, we restored the original signal timings last Friday and plan to study the intersection further before making any other changes. In light of unfortunate crash today, we will also check to see if we can do anything to improve intersection safety, especially for cyclists.
    Bill Kloos
    Signals & St. Lighting Division Manager
    PDOT

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  • toddistic October 22, 2007 at 4:34 pm

    I\'m taking the lane the whole way home today. If I get right hooked, I\'m going to call my wife tell her I\'m ok (assuming I\'m ok) then I\'m going to tear into the car with my ULock. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

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  • Tbird October 22, 2007 at 4:36 pm

    Tasha- you\'re sooo right; motorists need to slow WAY down!
    It\'s unbelievable how fast and self absorbed folks are while they drive. Even on so-called bike blvds, not to mention high speed routes like this, it\'s not uncommon to see drivers going 20+ mph over the limit. We need greater safety infrastructure in place and enforcement from the PPB!

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  • lyle October 22, 2007 at 4:41 pm

    \"If I get right hooked, I\'m going to call my wife tell her I\'m ok (assuming I\'m ok) then I\'m going to tear into the car with my ULock. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!\"

    is it really worth it? that might feel good while you\'re doing it, but the corresponding bullets hitting you won\'t.

    and, the type of people who drive aggressively and maliciously towards bikes are much more likely to carry firearms.

    i don\'t think people realize that something like 30% of people on the road have guns in their car.

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  • jonno October 22, 2007 at 4:43 pm

    Lyle (#52)-

    My sarcasm pseudo-tag didn\'t come through. Of course taking the lane all the time isn\'t an option. But as it stands right now, unless drivers start looking right before going right, bike lanes can be suicide lanes.

    I do know that Oregon law requires a rider to right as far to the right as is safe and practical. Well, bike lane design seems to rely on drivers checking their blind spots. That obviously isn\'t going too well, so how is a bike lane \"safe and practical\"?

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  • encephalopath October 22, 2007 at 4:44 pm

    The way the local media is reporting the story isn\'t helping any from what I can see. I\'ve looked at KATU, KOIN, and the Oregonian and they all write something like this: The truck was going down the hill, signaled to turn, started the turn, and the bicycle ran into the truck.

    None of them mention that the bicycle was traveling in a bike lane. That oversight causes them to miss an opportunity to educate their driving readers on the driver\'s responsibility to yield the right of way to the bicycle in the bike lane when making a right hand turn.

    The fact that the turn signal is on is irrelevant. The driver is still required to yield the right of way to the bicycle. They include the turn signal thing as if it exonerates the driver and omit any mention of the bike lane.

    Am I paranoid to see this as an intentional bias in their telling of the story?

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  • lyle October 22, 2007 at 4:44 pm

    \"However us drivers of the the \"Death Machines\" have noticed alot of cyclist being extreamly disregardent of commen sence and or intelligable thinking while they are \"Sharing\" the road. These trucks do not stop on a dime.\"

    wow, forget about \'if you don\'t know how to say it nicely, don\'t say it\'. how about \'if you don\'t know how to say it, don\'t say it.\'?

    i think i speak for all of us when i say, hopefully you\'re not relying on reading road signs to guide you when you\'re out there driving those good \'ol death machines.

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  • Tbird October 22, 2007 at 4:45 pm

    @ #54,
    Ok Mike, here\'s the deal....

    First, use spell check. It makes you look like fool when you kant right korrektlee.

    Second, don\'t come on a bike forum telling cyclists it\'s their fault when a GIGANTIC truck kills one of their commrades. It\'s beyond bad form. I\'d say it borders on putrid.

    Third, WAKE UP Dingus! The reason a bike \"collided with [your] co-worker\" is because he/she was negligent and crossed another traffic lane (yes, we\'re traffic too!) with out checking to see who was there.
    You make me sick!

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  • lyle October 22, 2007 at 4:48 pm

    \"Am I paranoid to see this as an intentional bias in their telling of the story?\"

    are you kidding? that\'s what the corporate news media exists to do... to act as a biased and influenced news source. all pretense has been completely abandoned.

    watch the 11 o\'clock news and see how many ads there are for cars/car sales compared to bikes/bike sales.

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  • rixtir October 22, 2007 at 4:50 pm

    Am I paranoid to see this as an intentional bias in their telling of the story?

    It\'s so ingrained they don\'t see it. If we want these reporters to start writing better reports, get them on a bike and watch how their perspectives change when they get right hooked etc.:

    Old perspective: The truck turned and the cyclist ran into the truck.\"

    New perspective: The truck turned into the cyclist\'s path, colliding with the cyclist.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) October 22, 2007 at 4:51 pm

    Tbird (#65),

    Please keep in mind that on this site we value perspectives from all sides and even though this is an emotional time, criticizing another commenter never helps the conversation.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) October 22, 2007 at 4:53 pm

    \"The way the local media is reporting the story isn’t helping any from what I can see. I’ve looked at KATU, KOIN, and the Oregonian and they all write something like this: The truck was going down the hill, signaled to turn, started the turn, and the bicycle ran into the truck.\"

    The thing is, they are all simply reporting what was told to them by the Police Bureau, and that\'s the way they make their statements.

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  • Paul Tay October 22, 2007 at 4:54 pm

    Lemme guess: Cyclist was in the truck\'s blind spot, rear passenger side. Truck right-hooks and kills cyclist.

    Countermeasure: Cyclist use rear-view mirror to move away from truck\'s blind spot to the middle of the lane, in front of truck, way ahead of truck\'s effective distance, causing truck to slow down before making right turn, behind cyclist.

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  • Andy October 22, 2007 at 4:54 pm

    A short time ago my doctor advised me that I should regard motor vehicles as insentient beasts. I must not have taken it to heart because tomorrow I\'m going in to have an elbow x-rayed that I injured when I was right-hooked by one of these insentient beasts. By grace, I was going slow enough that I got off with nothing worse than a sprained elbow. In the month since my accident three cyclists have been killed and one critically injured. I\'m starting to get the point.

    I agree with Lyle that it\'s hard to see how this could not be the driver\'s fault. At the same time, I doubt that\'s any consolation to the cyclist\'s friends and family and certainly not to the cyclist.

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  • Asher Atkinson October 22, 2007 at 4:55 pm

    Though the law states that the cyclist has the right of way it really doesn’t matter when physics get involved. As a car-free, year-round cyclist I appreciate the road rights extended to me and the hard work that got these laws in place. With that said, I think common sense and common courtesy should be the guide behind the law. And that, to me at least, says that within a reasonable distance prescribed by the speed limit a moving and signaling vehicle and a cyclist should not over take one another. In other words, if a cyclist approaches a signaling vehicle it should not be allowed to pass on the right within a prescribed distance. By the same token a vehicle intending to turn right should not be allowed to pass a cyclist prior to making the turn within the same prescribed distance.

    Granted, I don’t know the details in this tragedy and don’t know who violated my notion of common sense and common courtesy, but it seems to me that the technical right of way is not serving cyclists well. It invites reckless decisions by cyclists and frustrates many well meaning motorists trying to turn right. My fear is that a backlash is coming as indicated by recent suggestions in the press and by the police that Oregon adopt the California approach where the bike lanes are shared with right turning cars. I think this approach would be a disaster for cyclist rights and safety and hope we can head this off by taking the lead in sensibly addressing right turn issues. I would gladly forgo my technical right to pass a vehicle just before it turns right in exchange for much greater clarity and strict enforcement of the law protecting me from a right turning vehicle.

    Sadly, these accidents are the awareness campaign. But if cyclists don\'t back down on their right of way while in the bike lane under any circumstance, this campaign is going to back fire on us.

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  • danielc October 22, 2007 at 4:59 pm

    I\'m sorry, but when a vehicle passes a cyclist on a downhill, they should realize that the cyclist is still there. Any driver would know that if they passed another vehicle. Another thing is that lots of drivers don\'t realize how fast a cyclist can go downhill. Judging from the bike, (a carbon Orbea), the cyclist had an appreciation for a higher end road bike and was probably descending at 25+ mph. I would think probably 30+ mph which would make braking an issue if the truck turned into his path.
    It was dry, a beautiful day and probably out for a ride. So sad...

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  • BURR October 22, 2007 at 5:03 pm

    Perhaps the only error the cyclist made was to trust the bike lane and the truck driver. Bike lanes on steep downhill descents are death traps. This is a perfect example of a location where all cyclists should take the lane, pass right turning traffic on the left and/or make the traffic wait behind you. The city has a huge liability for the design and installation of these unsafe bike lanes.

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  • encephalopath October 22, 2007 at 5:05 pm

    I think the media uses the turn signal as a shorthand way of assigning blame without actually explicitly saying it.

    Cyclist killed, but the vehicles turn signal was on (driver not at fault).

    -is suspiciously similar to-

    Police shot and killed a man, but he had a criminal record (he deserved it).

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  • max adders October 22, 2007 at 5:05 pm

    I gotta wonder if the cyclist was riding the top of his bars and couldn\'t reach the aero brifters to brake in time...

    cross levers might be a roadie faux-pas, but they\'re quite helpful for reacting quickly in traffic.

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  • Foo October 22, 2007 at 5:09 pm

    I ride on Interstate every day on my way to work and always slow way down at this intersection even if it means sacrificing momentum. Between vehicles turning right onto Greeley and vehicles making right turns on red onto Interstate south from Greeley, this is simply not an intersection where anyone should be blazing down the hill. Although we may have right of way in that lane, I tend to agree that the law of gross tonnage has some applicability and I would rather be alive than \"right.\"

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  • Paul Tay October 22, 2007 at 5:12 pm

    It\'s beginning to dawn on me that Portland, for all of its enlightened bicycle-friendliness is coddling its bicycling denizens.

    Laws, bike lanes, and other hard-won bike physical accommodations DON\'T protect ANYONE.

    Bicyclists NEED knowledge of specific defense driving countermeasures. Does Portland or Oregon require bicycle driving education in public schools? I bet NOT.

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  • DT October 22, 2007 at 5:16 pm

    Every time I ride from NoPo to downtown, I go through that intersection - but I am always coming down Greeley merging onto Interstate because I feel totally uncomfortable riding down the steep incline of Interstate with its red lights and narrow bike lane. I would have to burn up my brakes to be able to stop easily if the lights on that hill turned red. As #71 said, you can easily get up to 25+ mph on that hill, which is a death sentence as we\'ve seen here. Taking Greeley instead of Interstate has its own problems (crossing Swan Island traffic, and then back again across the lane that become the I-5 on-ramp), but it just goes to show that at all times we need to ride defensively. It may be fun to get up speed on a hill, but if you can\'t respond to a situation, then you are putting yourself in danger. I am in no way blaming the victim here - the fault is clearly on the driver since he OVERTOOK the bike (Hello?!!) - but I feel that we have to treat cars as if drivers are completely oblivious to our presence and ride accordingly. If it slows us down or makes out ride \"less fun\" because we can\'t shoot down a hill at 30mph, fine. I\'d rather make it home in one piece.

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  • rixtir October 22, 2007 at 5:16 pm

    Asher, I agree in general with what you\'re saying in post 70 about common sense and common courtesy. However, the law doesn\'t allow cyclists to pass on the right unless it is safe to do so, nor does it allow drivers to turn right unless it is safe to do so.

    What you suggest is adding a specific \"safe distance\" to the law, which may be a good idea. Of course, people will continue to ignore the law, and then lie about how observant of the law they always are when the laws of physics catch up to them.

    \"Yes, my turn signal was on.\"

    \"Yes, I checked my mirror.\"

    \"Yes, I observed the minimum safe distance.\"

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  • gix October 22, 2007 at 5:24 pm

    Are bike lanes unsafe? Should I start to ride in the middle of the right hand lane?

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  • Spanky October 22, 2007 at 5:25 pm

    Pass a bike anyplace, and make a turn over a bike lane, or even a turn without a bike lane, always assume the bike is there. Perhaps the driver did so assume, checked his mirror, and just failed to see the bicycle and assumed the bicycle had gone elsewhere.

    I can only add to the statements of sorrow for everyone involved.

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  • LJ October 22, 2007 at 5:29 pm

    I\'m saddened to read about yet another tragedy on our streets. Unfortunately as stated in a post above, these events trigger awareness, but then on the positive side, hopefully everyone will ride and drive more safely. I for one have been extrememly cognizant of motorists when riding lately, stopping completely at stop signs and signaling each turn, whether vehicles are around or not. When driving, I\'m very aware of cyclists and very patient. These accidents in Portland are one of the main reasons I drive to work and ride on country roads when I can (though they are not necessarily safer, there is less traffic).

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  • Aaron October 22, 2007 at 5:35 pm

    I agree that we should see what plays out in the details. But initially I agree with comment #24. This is dramatically different from the Sparling incident in that the driver clearly saw the cyclist because he passed the person. This is not an issue of a cyclist putting themselves in a vehicle\'s blind spot. These people were both traveling down the road, and both aware of each other.
    No somebody doesn\'t simply disappear once you pass them.
    Damn, I hope these deaths are not in vain.

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  • Stu October 22, 2007 at 5:36 pm

    It\'s pretty well established that out of all the bike / vehicle collisions where blame can be attributed, 50% of the time the cyclist is at fault and 50% of the time the driver is at fault. The knee-jerk reaction on here that it must be the driver\'s fault here is presumptious (since we don\'t know all the facts), biased (since it ignores the strong possibility that the cyclist was going at high speed down that hill), and slightly distasteful (since a person just died).

    More importantly in the long term, it is also damaging to our public image as the cycling community. Whenever it degenerates to us vs them, we lose. Because it increases driver anger, and makes them more aggresive when we\'re around. Result? More collisions. And we all know who tends to come out on top in collisions.

    I\'d guess that maybe 10% of drivers are inconsiderate ***holes, who think bikes shouldn\'t be allowed on the road, don\'t look, don\'t give you room, and risk hitting you. And 10% of cyclists are inconsiderate ***holes, who think cars shouldn\'t be allowed on the road, don\'t have lights (or even reflectors) at night, don\'t bike defensively etc. If we can flulsh those 10% of ***hole cyclists out of their ways, it\'ll make it safer for all of us.

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  • T. October 22, 2007 at 5:37 pm

    Jonathon
    I see brd has already left a similar post about the traffic signals at this intersection, but I feel it should be addressed with PDOT. I used to bike this hill regularly when I lived in North and am very familiar and cautious with this intersection. Saturday I was driving southbound - the first light at the bottom of the hill was green and the immediate second light was red! I had never in car or bike experienced this. Green - yellow maybe once! I barely avoided entering the intersection on the red. Those familiar with the intersections know you can\'t see the second light until you are through the first. I mentioned it to my partner who rides this route daily, he too had noticed the lights \"weren\'t right\".

    All of that being said - my tears to the family and friends of the fallen. Please, let\'s all be careful out there.

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  • Max October 22, 2007 at 5:40 pm

    I was \"tail-gaited\" and purposefully cut off by a truck (State Vehicle plates) today on SW 10th. The driver proceeded to give me a very vulgar lecture on where bikes belong.

    On my way home a Radio Cab drove into the bike lane where SW 6th merges with Broadway and almost struck me. I had to swerved into an area where parked cars might have been to avoid him.

    Both of these vehicles had previously overtaken me and I was in a foul mood about the current state of affairs here in Portland and feeling very anti-car. Now, here I am reading about how another cyclist was killed after being overtaken by a commercial vehicle? It\'s no wonder so many cyclists feel like drivers are \"the enemy.\"

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  • V-Strom October 22, 2007 at 5:47 pm

    Horrible for all involved.
    All facts arent out yet.
    Assumptions based mostly on the media reports (who typically get it wrong anyway) are just plain guessing.
    Just because you have the right of way in a bike lane crossing an intersection, does not mean you should always use it. I dont mean to flame by that comment, but if you are going to pass straight through an intersection in a far right lane which has potentially right turning traffic (signaling or otherwise) you are taking a tremendous risk. You must always be prepared to stop and or take serious evasive action in a situation like this.

    I hate tragedy like this. I hurt for the fallen and their family, I hurt for the driver and the ghost he will live with the rest of his life, even if it is found that he is not at fault. We should have compassion on all involved right down to the cop that had to pick up the pieces of another wasted life in the street yet again.
    I commute by motorcycle to downtown everyday. I cannot insist on my right of way ever without using excessive caution and keeping second and third options close at hand.
    Everyone needs to do a better job out there, and no matter how good you think you are, you can always do better.
    As an aside, most of my serious traffic conflicts once I reach the downtown core are bicycle and pedestrian conflicts due to their not adhering to any semblence of the rules of the road, not cars.
    Once outside of the core, then its cars.
    Prayers for everyone involved.

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  • Kevin Hedahl October 22, 2007 at 5:53 pm

    Re: Motorist, post 51

    I don\'t know of any specific forum, but you are welcome to send me an email at kevin.hedahlgmail

    There are plenty of intersections around Portland that are confusing to cyclist and motorists alike. Most cyclists are also motorists, so have some insight into how cars react, but not vise-versa. I\'d love to answer any questions.

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  • BURR October 22, 2007 at 5:54 pm

    @ 83 The 50-50 fault numbers are not \'pretty well established\', they were provided by Lt. Kruger, who as we all know has a strong pro-motorist/anti-cyclist bias.

    I have evaluated about four years of Portland crash data and my conclusion is that the \'at fault\' split for adult cyclists in all crashes is much closer to 58% motorist at fault to 42% cyclist at fault.

    These numbers are based on the police data base (with its inherent bias) and ignores the fact that the cyclist:motorist injury/fatality ratio is something like 99:1 regardless of fault.

    Charles Komanoff has done some excellent research into police bias in reporting fault in crashes resulting in cyclist fatalities in NYC: http://www.cars-suck.org/research/cyclists.pdf

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  • zilfondel October 22, 2007 at 5:58 pm

    These two tragic deaths in the past few weeks have reminded me of a rule that is followed on the mountain by skiers and snowboarders regarding right-of-way. It goes something like this:

    Whoever is in front of you has right-of-way - they cannot see you. Yield to them no matter what.

    When I apply that rule while riding my bicycle and scooter, I have never had any problems. While state law says that drivers on the road are supposed to use their mirror, why assume that they are paying attention to you? That is asking for a quick death - ask any motorcyclist.

    Yea, you have to slow down when you most want to bomb down a hill, but bicycles don\'t stop very quickly.

    Even motorcycles cannot outstop a car with good brakes, so be very careful with excessive speed!!

    And big trucks are simply way too dangerous to get anywhere near - might I suggest completely avoiding them, and giving them a good 20\' radius of clearance? All it takes is one of those little bits of metal they always have exposed to whack you in the head at a mere 5 mph to kill you.

    Skiers get killed all the time by low (walking)-speed accidents with trees.

    Wear your helmet and ride safe!

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  • Tweety October 22, 2007 at 6:00 pm

    I went to KGW\'s website and read the article on this accident posted there; they talked about today\'s cyclist \"slamming\" into the garbage truck and then, further down, they mention that another cyclist had died earlier this month (Tracey Sparling) after she \"slammed into\" the cement truck.

    Uh.. excuse me, if I recollect properly, both Tracey and the cement truck were at a stop and he rolled over her - she didn\'t go \"slamming\" into his truck - to slam into him she\'d have to have gotten up to some speed... and my point in mention of this is that news reporters do so much harm with their inaccurate reporting and then non or anti-cycling readers buy it as gospel, so now cyclists are beginning to look like a pack of lemmings going over the cliff as we all start \"slamming\" into motor vehicles. I\'m am so disgusted with KGW for that post I could just spit and my mama told me it is NEVER polite for a lady to spit. Grrrrrrrrrr.

    Yeah - we all have to be SUPER careful out there.

    Condolences to the family, my prayers to the spirit of the cyclist as he soars on new roads - my heart weighs heavy with yet another senseless death.

    Tweety

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  • BURR October 22, 2007 at 6:11 pm

    I note that Brian Schmautz is providing comments for the PPB on this incident, they must have told Kruger to be quiet.

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  • vespa October 22, 2007 at 6:16 pm

    In addition to cycling, I also drive a motorcycle. From that perspective, I have nothing to do but pay close attention to what every driver around me is doing, even more so than when I am on my bike. Cell phones, text messaging, make up, reading (!), eating . . . you wouldn\'t believe what you can see during a routine drive around Portland. Count how many auto drivers are on their cell phone tomorrow while you ride to work.

    I mention this only to underscore that drivers DO NOT pay attention and you must always be the better vehicle driver. And the current state of our laws is simply not designed to help us cyclists out. Maybe when peak oil hits and gas is 10 bux a gallon, but not yet.

    I hate to say it, but we are a minority and, to most drivers, a pain in the ass minority. We should continue to fight for better laws and increased awareness. And for the punishment of bad drivers. But we must not trust motorists. Unfortunately, that is not spoken of until tragedy hits.

    What a shame. My thoughts to the cyclist and his/her family.

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  • rixtir October 22, 2007 at 6:18 pm

    I note that Brian Schmautz is providing comments for the PPB on this incident, they must have told Kruger to be quiet.

    When all else fails, bring in the pathological liar.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) October 22, 2007 at 6:20 pm

    \"I went to KGW’s website and read the article on this accident posted there; they talked about today’s cyclist \"slamming\" into the garbage truck and then, further down, they mention that another cyclist had died earlier this month (Tracey Sparling) after she \"slammed into\" the cement truck.\"

    I agree with you Tweety. I know the online editor at KGW and I just sent him an email saying they need to remove that reference immediately. I will keep you posted.

    Update: I just heard back from Frank (KGW\'s online editor) and he has changed the sentence to:

    \"Earlier this month, a 19-year-old woman died after being struck by a cement truck downtown.\"

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  • Linda Ginenthal October 22, 2007 at 6:28 pm

    Another crash. Makes me sick to my stomach. My guess is in cases like this some people see them as \"accidents\". While I vehemently disagree (accidents aren\'t so easily preventable as this one was), I don\'t think the two choices are 1) a measly ticket with an \"Opps, so sorry\"; or 2) jail time, no more driving. We should be calling for at the very least that the driver be called upon to do many, many hours of community service - talking to drivers about traffic safety so that people can learn from his mistake.

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  • beth r October 22, 2007 at 6:31 pm

    I am so sad. While all the details about this are still to come, I can imagine the cyclist--apparently my age and riding my favorite, a fast road bike--enjoying the exhilaration of cruising downhill on a beautiful day. This tragedy makes me ache for the cyclist\'s loved ones and the garbage collector driving the truck, whose life will never be the same, either.

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  • Ian Clemons October 22, 2007 at 6:38 pm

    Too bad the cyclist can\'t give his side of the story. He\'s dead. We\'ll have to take the driver\'s word for it that he signalled and checked his mirrors.

    -Ian

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  • Ian Clemons October 22, 2007 at 6:39 pm

    ...Also, those photos of the bike crushed under the truck chill me to the f****** bone. Let\'s all be careful, please.

    -Ian

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  • idiots October 22, 2007 at 6:50 pm

    # 95

    --We should be calling for at the very least that the driver be called upon to do many, many hours of community service - talking to drivers about traffic safety so that people can learn from his mistake.--

    This is a rear-end collision. Regardless of the position of the bike- the truck was in front and made a perfectly legal and reasonable turn. Basic traffic law says do not exceed a speed where where you could not stop in time to avoid another vehicle or a stationary object in your path. If the cyclist struck a pedestrian would you be blaming the pedestrian? Obviously not- although the complete lack of logic and common sense on this forum makes me wonder what measure of pretzel-logic you could collectively employ to your purposes.

    The biker broke the basic speed law. And the biker is solely and 100% to blame for his own error.

    The suggestion that a truck should stop in the middle of an intersection, with a green light, to wait for cyclists overtaking on the right, because they might be traveling too fast to reasonably respond to other traffic is patently absurd.

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  • Denise October 22, 2007 at 6:53 pm

    How dare you blame the cyclist?

    Big Diesel
    October 22nd, 2007 14:22
    6

    Looks like another cyclist was not paying attention yet again..... How many will it take ?????

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  • BoggyWoggy October 22, 2007 at 7:01 pm

    The photos make me feel ill. It\'s tough for all involved. I cannot even begin to imagine how the truck driver must feel...and how the biker\'s family is doing tonight. We\'ve all been in these situations. I\'m lucky in Corvallis that so many bikers are on the roadways, as it keeps me in-check whenever I turn...I am always checking my mirrors and trying to be cautious, but when it\'s raining and dark, oh man! I worry.

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  • Ross Williams October 22, 2007 at 7:22 pm

    The suggestion that a truck should stop in the middle of an intersection, with a green light, to wait for cyclists overtaking on the right, because they might be traveling too fast to reasonably respond to other traffic is patently absurd.

    Absurd? No, that is the law. The vehicle turning right is supposed to yield to traffic in the bike lane. If he was turning left and he was hit by a vehicle coming toward him, would you blame the driver who hit him? Obviously not.

    I am convinced the law needs to be changed to require drivers to move into the bike lane to make their turn. If the truck then needs to swing out to make the turn at least the lane is blocked to start with so no one is passing on the right.

    The problem with that is where the driver is delayed by pedestrians the bike lane may be blocked. But a truck swinging into the lane on the left to make a wide turn is essentally supposed to be looking in four different places at once. Given the different speeds of a bicycles, pedestrians and motor vehicles, I think that is expecting too much. And I don\'t think it is asking too much for a bicyclist to occasionally wait for a vehicle that got to the intersection well ahead of them. Nor is it unreasonable to expect the vehicle to pull in behind a bike to make the turn.

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  • Anonymous October 22, 2007 at 7:23 pm

    Ian #97,

    Signaling and checking his mirrors should not absolve the driver from responsibility anymore than signaling a left turn and then turning into traffic would.

    Whether he signaled or \"looked\" should be a moot point. He de facto did not yield per the requirements of the law.

    The driver passed the cyclist. Unless he believes in magic, he knew the cyclist was still there. It was the DRIVER\'S responsibility to yield before taking that turn.

    My question again is, \"Where did the driver think the biker went once he passed him?\"

    If the driver is not cited (as in the case of Tracey Sparling), it\'s as if the police are saying, \"There was nothing more the driver could have done. Since he didn\'t intend to hit the cyclist, he did nothing wrong.\" (Wrong on both counts.)

    What does not citing say to other drivers?

    If you don\'t mean it, it\'s okay??

    Oops?

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  • rixtir October 22, 2007 at 7:23 pm

    I am convinced the law needs to be changed to require drivers to move into the bike lane to make their turn.

    So then the truck can pass the cyclist, turn into the bike lane with inches to spare, hit the brakes to make that turn, and blame the cyclist for \"excessive speed\"?

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  • John Beaston October 22, 2007 at 7:29 pm

    To Bill Kloos (post #56). Thank you for participating in the discussion. Two comments:

    1. North-bound drivers turning left onto Greeley seem to regularly \"run the red\" prior to your changes last week. It\'s quite dangerous for south-bound bikers.

    2. Not related to this intersection but the lights seem to have changed around Interstate and the Rose Quarter MAX station as well. For the last week or so I routinely get a green light while there\'s still a MAX in the intersection.

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  • encephalopath October 22, 2007 at 7:30 pm

    Idiots response is very revealing (as is his chosen screen name). A minority to be sure, but it\'s scary to know that there are a certain percentage of drivers who have no idea what their responsibilities are behind the wheel.

    The next time you make a right turn from the center lane on Broadway you can tell the guy who T-bones you that it\'s his fault for rear ending you.

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  • rixtir October 22, 2007 at 7:35 pm

    The next time you make a right turn from the center lane on Broadway you can tell the guy who T-bones you that it\'s his fault for rear ending you.

    See, on idiot\'s world, once you pass the cyclist, all of your responsibilities are transferred to the cyclist...

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  • Slick October 22, 2007 at 7:35 pm

    My heart hurts for the bicycle rider, the driver, the witnesses, the families, everyone touched by this terrible wreck.

    Kruger is calling for a California law that allows drivers to enter the bike lane up to 200 feet prior to the turn. In Portland, the basic block is 200 feet long. Then, he wonders why everyone thinks he doesn\'t care about the safety of bicycle riders. Hmmm...

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  • SKiDmark October 22, 2007 at 7:47 pm

    I think if the law was changed to require drivers to move into the bike lane to make their turn like that we would have trucks merging into cyclists in the bike lane and killing them.

    The answer is friggin\' obvious: if you pass a bike in the bike lane and you are going to be turning right, you slow down and then wait for them to go by (YIELD) like the law requires you to.

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  • tonyt October 22, 2007 at 7:51 pm

    I did not intend to post anonymously. That was me on #103

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  • jami October 22, 2007 at 7:52 pm

    hi, drivers? you have to signal!!! you know the tremendous effort it requires to lift your pinkie to turn on your signal half a block in advance? now contrast that with the psychotherapy you\'ll need after you crush someone just starting his or her life under your tires.

    god. damn it. i\'ll be sad when there\'s a name and a family, but right now i\'m just furious.

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  • jami October 22, 2007 at 7:57 pm

    also, skidmark is right. there is nothing wrong with the current law, which this truck and the one last week clearly, 100%, broke. what\'s wrong is that drivers don\'t look right when they\'re turning in order to follow the law. they need to learn to do that (and cyclists need to be careful until they do).

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  • rixtir October 22, 2007 at 7:57 pm

    Exactly right, SKiDMark:

    I think if the law was changed to require drivers to move into the bike lane to make their turn like that we would have trucks merging into cyclists in the bike lane and killing them.

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  • rixtir October 22, 2007 at 7:59 pm

    drivers don\'t look right when they\'re turning in order to follow the law. they need to learn to do that (and cyclists need to be careful until they do).

    It\'s not just a temporary condition.
    Cyclists always have, and always will need to be careful.

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  • a.O October 22, 2007 at 8:07 pm

    This is unacceptable. I trust all you cyclists, or people of good conscience, or both, agree. Let\'s turn our energy toward solving this problem in the name of those who have given their lives.

    It\'s time to find solutions, not fake solutions taking away the rights of cyclists and not just admonishing people to be more careful.

    It\'s time for Portlanders to stand up, again, to the tyranny of the automobile.

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  • rixtir October 22, 2007 at 8:10 pm

    a.O., do you have any ideas on that?

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  • Ross Williams October 22, 2007 at 8:12 pm

    I think if the law was changed to require drivers to move into the bike lane to make their turn like that we would have trucks merging into cyclists in the bike lane and killing them.

    I would rather deal with a vehicle merging into the lane than one turning right across in front of me. I also think it is less likely to be missed than when a driver is dealing with pedestrians and traffic from three other directions.

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  • Jenny October 22, 2007 at 8:25 pm

    This is very very sad of course - but no one can blame the driver or the cyclist. We just don\'t know what happened.

    I almost hit a bike with my car while turning right just last week - when I would have thought people were being more cautious because of Tracey Sparling. I arrived at the intersection just as the light turned red so I stopped. I had passed her so I knew she coming up beside me. I drive up Williams every day and am very aware of all the bikes. There were no cars at all coming in the crossing street that I wanted to turn onto. Since we both had to stop - I knew I could turn right on the red in plenty of time before the light turned green and she could continue on straight. I looked right, I look left, I look right again and start to turn - just as the bike goes straight illegally through the red light and in front of me making a legal turn.

    If the driver is at fault he should be punished, but if he\'s not at fault - he shouldn\'t be condemned.

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  • Matthaus October 22, 2007 at 8:28 pm

    If, as one poster mentioned, \"these trucks do not stop on a dime\" and \"these trucks weigh up to 108000lbs and have a three second delay from the time a driver notices he needs to stop untill[sp] he actually starts to stop\" then the question really should be why didn\'t the truck slow down enough or start slowing down early enough to stop at the bottom of the hill if needed. That\'s the responsible thing to do if your turn may be delayed at all. You stop, wait for it to be clear and then go. Not starting to stop early enough in this case shows that the driver probably didn\'t even consider that a bike/pedestrian could appear in his path.
    And in all of this, there is yet another option besides stopping and waiting for the bike to pass. It\'s a crazy idea, but if, when driving, you know you\'re going too fast to completely stop or to make the turn safely, you have an obligation to go straight (assuming the light was green) ahead and not go ahead with the turn.

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  • Tbird October 22, 2007 at 8:29 pm

    Having lived and biked in Ca. where the \'merge into lane law\' is in effect I can tell you (and so can many other former Ca residents) IT IS SKETCHY to say the least.
    No way is this a better alternative.

    The solution as I see it is better information/education of right of way laws/protocol for motorists and ACTUAL enforcement of said laws by the PPB, along with some form of separation of bike lanes in high risk/traffic areas.

    For crying out loud, there are whole nations out there who have already figured out the mechanics of this system, why is it here in the US we refuse to follow their lead?

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  • SkidMark October 22, 2007 at 8:30 pm

    I think it is much easier to avoid someone who is turning in front of you than someone coming over directly next to you giving you no option but to hop the curb, or crash trying to. And then the crash is (seen in the eyes of the law as) your fault and because the car didn\'t tag you they get away scot free. Or they kill you and get away scot free. Really no different than right now.

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  • Take 'em to court October 22, 2007 at 8:30 pm

    We all know our courts won\'t rule against motorists in a criminal case. I am praying that this guy\'s family and Tracy\'s too, will file a torte and make the drivers testify and get a favorable ruling. Portland has plenty of lawers that can make it happen. I wonder how the media would cover that action?
    Prayers for the killed riders and their families.
    Safety for all.

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  • Jeremy October 22, 2007 at 8:33 pm

    So the truck passed the cyclist, maybe he should have been aware that the cyclist was still there, but it is hard to know exactly where, especially when both the speed of the truck and the cyclist change. Since the truck passed the cyclist and apparently signaled the turn, the cyclist should have been defensively riding and be aware of the intended turn and held back.

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  • encephalopath October 22, 2007 at 8:36 pm

    A couple of tangential observations:

    I\'ve been surprised that so many cyclists have mentioned the need to be extra careful, while implying that the two recent victims were to some degree responsible for their own death for not being careful enough. Everyone notes that we don\'t know what sort of precautions either of them took. But still, it is hinted that a lack of caution on the part of the cyclists contributed to their deaths.

    I think it’s possible that this response is a sort of defense mechanism, a way of saying to ourselves, \"I\'m careful in a way that they were not. Therefore, this kind of accident won\'t happen to me.\" So many of the threats we face on the road, however, are random and unpredictable. Saying to ourselves that we are more careful than the two riders that were killed is a way of coping with risks we really can\'t control.

    I\'ve been right hooked twice in the last few months by driver who didn\'t signal and forced me to make the corner next to them because there is no way I could have stopped. In each case I was 10 feet behind the car in the bike lane traveling about the same speed at the car in one instance, faster than the car in the other. When the cars braked to make the turn, the gap was gone in an instant, and there was nothing I could do but grab both brakes and try to negotiate the turn, hoping to keep enough grip and not lowside.

    When riding we look for every little clue to predict driver behavior. But the truth is, we\'re not mind readers. Sometimes we get caught out, no matter how careful we are. It\'s understandable that we would speculate about what sort of care the victims took, but there is no way for us to know what they saw and what sort of \"read\" they had to make.

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  • encephalopath October 22, 2007 at 8:37 pm

    Secondly on the issue of care:

    I think it\'s possible that showing too much deference to cars could make things less safe for us. We could end up conditioning drivers to expect that bicycles are going to stay out of their no matter what they do.

    Confidently owning your space is often the safest thing to do. There are times that an aggressive kick puts you on the ahead of possible trouble (some of the potential right hook situation are like that), where dithering puts you as risk of being hit. Being careful is good, but being too timid can send the message that we don\'t belong there.

    What would it take to eliminate the possibility of being right hooked? Ride less than 10 mph through every intersection? Every 200 ft... that’s a lot of slowing. One of the things we have to do to be safe is to be predictable. Solutions to one problem can create other problems.

    Tonight as I was riding up Williams, a car from a side street pulled out to go straight across my path and stopped dead center in the left lane. I put both hands on the brakes quick and coasted through. In that situation do I brake or do I continue through? If I brake, he may assume that I\'m stopping for him and continue on even though there is no way I could have braked enough to avoid a collision.

    In the 1/4 second I have to decide, how do I formulate the right response to a driver who violates a traffic statute and puts me a risk? I have to say in those situations, I\'m guessing. And I don\'t always guess right.

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  • rixtir October 22, 2007 at 8:41 pm

    We all know our courts won\'t rule against motorists in a criminal case.

    What are you talking about? There are no laws for them to enforce. What do you want them to do? Charge the motorist with violating a non-existent law?

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  • Tom Dollemore October 22, 2007 at 8:53 pm

    Dangerous precedence
    Do motorist that hit cyclists get citations? The bike lane is a traffic lane, if a vehicle turns right into another vehicle across their lane of travel wouldn\'t that be a traffic crime? If a motorist hits a bike rider in marked cross walk w/ signals flashing isn\'t that a traffic crime? Not according to Lt. Mark Krueger. Cyclist keep losing their lives in PDX and these crimes are continually minimizes by the PPB. Dangerous precedence!

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  • Aaron October 22, 2007 at 8:54 pm

    There are no laws for them to enforce.
    You mean like this law?

    811.050 Failure to yield to rider on bicycle lane; penalty. (1) A person commits the offense of failure of a motor vehicle operator to yield to a rider on a bicycle lane if the person is operating a motor vehicle and the person does not yield the right of way to a person operating a bicycle, electric assisted bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, moped, motor assisted scooter or motorized wheelchair upon a bicycle lane.

    (2) This section does not require a person operating a moped to yield the right of way to a bicycle or a motor assisted scooter if the moped is operated on a bicycle lane in the manner permitted under ORS 811.440.

    (3) The offense described in this section, failure of a motor vehicle operator to yield to a rider on a bicycle lane, is a Class B traffic violation. [1983 c.338 §698; 1985 c.16 §336; 1991 c.417 §4; 1997 c.400 §8; 2001 c.749 §23; 2003 c.341 §7]

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  • Matt October 22, 2007 at 9:02 pm

    Stu (#83) - what does high speed have to do with anything?

    What, it\'s okay to hit a cyclist just because they are travelling fast in a bicycle lane?

    I agree that everybody should wait for facts before wild speculation ensues.

    But I\'m just not sure what you\'re getting at with the speed comment.

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  • Tweety October 22, 2007 at 9:10 pm

    I passionately don\'t want to see cars allowed to enter into the bike lanes to make their turns. I think this will send a message that motor vehicles can swoop over into our lane whenever they want to and just crowd us out of our space with nary a thought. I think it would make a huge, negative dent in how non-cyclists see our rights - as a lack of any.

    I\'ve already had one anti-cycling co-worker tell me that the bike lanes are a waste of good asphalt at the tax-payers\' expense (like I\'m not a tax-payer), so people of his ilk would feel they have further protection by the laws to either crowd us out of our lane or squash even more of us flat with only an \"Oops! I didn\'t know there was anyone over there!\" and the $242 ticket is issued, yet again. No! No! No! (Please). I think motorists would be even less conscious of the bike lane\'s existence, because they would then consider it just one more part of \"their\" road if given the right to block us from it for right turns. I dont want to be sitting behind a line-up of cars, breathing in their exhaust as I wait to continue on in my lane.

    There are too many people out there, like my \"delightful\" co-worker, who think we shouldn\'t have any rights and don\'t have a clue what the laws are relating to bikes. These people scream and rail in defense of drivers when deaths like today\'s occur, pointing the blame all our way because they don\'t have a clue what the laws are.

    I feel that there (drastically) needs to be some high-viz public education, like a feature page in The Oregonian or billboards (hate \'em) reinforcing our rights in the bike lane.

    And \"Yes\", we still should ride like the cars are out to mow us down, because \"right of way\" does not equal a guaranty of safety.

    Tweety \"Share the Road, but NOT our Bike Lanes, PLEASE!\"

    P.S. - Jonathan, thank you for getting KGW to fix that report about Tracey Sparling \"slamming\" into the truck! Awesome!

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  • wsbob October 22, 2007 at 9:10 pm

    I haven\'t read anyone describing it exactly this way yet, but it\'s kind of sounding as though the driver essentially cut the cyclist off. Just as idiots (comment #99 says):

    \"The suggestion that a truck should stop in the middle of an intersection, with a green light, to wait for cyclists overtaking on the right, because they might be traveling too fast to reasonably respond to other traffic is patently absurd.\" idiots (comment #99)

    Well, amongst motor vehicle drivers, this seems to be a fairly common viewpoint. They don\'t seem to see such a situation as one where they the driver inaccurately calculated the distance between themselves and the cyclist they were overtaking, before making their turn in front of the cyclist. Instead, it\'s the cyclist going too fast. How convenient; first the cyclist is going too slow, but before the motor vehicle has even passed the cyclist, the cyclist is all of a sudden going to fast. Marvelous!

    What is wrong with a driver that fails to accurately calculate the speed of a vehicle(bike in this case) the driver is overtaking so as to safely negotiate a turn in front of that vehicle\'s direction of travel?

    I\'ve seen a number of motor vehicle drivers do this all too often; They see the cyclist approaching an intersection the motor vehicle driver wants to make a turn at, and race to slip into a space between the cyclist and the intersection and in order to expedite their turn, and in doing so, they frequently miscalculate the distance and speed of the cyclist in relation to the intersection.

    Mr. Garbage Truck driver, I know that amongst other questions, you\'re asking yourself this question: \'Did I cut the guy off?\'. That\'s a very good question to be asking yourself. It could save some lives in the future.

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  • a.O October 22, 2007 at 9:11 pm

    I\'d like to clarify that I do not know what happened in today\'s death, so I am not blaming the driver.

    But... the problem of cyclists\' negligence is largely self-correcting. Although cyclists can kill and injure others, they rarely do so. Far more often, when they fuck up, they pay the price themselves, if anyone does.

    People in automobiles, however, kill more people each year than cancer, heart disease, terrorists, illegal drugs, etc...

    You know how, if you get drunk and then kill someone in your car, you go do jail and you have to pay a few grant in fines? Or how, if you rape someone, you get to do hard time in the state pen? Or how, when you lie about evidence in a criminal investigation, you lose your Bar license and get prosecuted yourself?

    That\'s the kind of big legal hammer that needs to start dropping on people who wield their deadly weapons without regard to the lives of others.

    Negligent operation of a motor vehicle causing death or serious bodily injury to another person needs to be a felony.

    I\'m sure that\'s going to be a very unpopular idea among the \"get the fuck off the road!\" Nascar set, but I don\'t care. Their day has come and gone.

    Too many people have died for nothing.

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  • rixtir October 22, 2007 at 9:11 pm

    Aaron, the poster in 122 complained that the courts won\'t rule against a motorist in a criminal case. There are a number of problems with that statement. For one thing, a traffic violation is not a \"crime.\"

    For another, courts don\'t \"rule against\" the defendant in a criminal trial-- the court instructs the jury on what the law is, and the jury finds the defendant \"guilty\" or \"not guilty\" based on the facts and the law.

    Finally, there are no criminal laws to charge motorists with when they kill. Well, there is one, but the standard is gross negligence, which is rarely, if ever, the case. And on January 1, 2008, we will have the vulnerable roadway users bill, which is a step in the right direction, but is still not enough.

    Tom 127: there is no \"precedent\" in police investigations. There may be \"policy,\" but it\'s not precedential. And no, the offenses you describe are not \"crimes,\" they are \"violations.\"

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  • Matt Picio October 22, 2007 at 9:15 pm

    General comment - it seems there are a lot of incidents and close calls with vehicles not realizing a bike on a downhill can be as fast / faster than they are. (I\'ve had 2 such encounters this year - one was *very* close) I think the bike lane law should be changed (BTA take note) to allow cyclists to leave the bike lane if they are traveling at the speed of traffic (this would bring it in line with the \"take the lane\" statute). In that case, the cyclist could have paced the garbage truck and passed it on the left when it signalled to turn (assuming it *did* signal to turn), or would have had an escape path on the left side (theoretically) when the truck right-hooked the bike lane.

    Either way, the cyclist would have had a better chance than being stuck in the bike lane.

    Unknown cyclist, whoever you are - Godspeed. Fair skies and rubber side down.

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  • awds October 22, 2007 at 9:16 pm

    it\'s a very sad day!

    bike gallery\'s bret javarlick not sure if thats how you spell the last name....i also ride that everyday and well...i just might change my route

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  • Kirsty October 22, 2007 at 9:22 pm

    \"These two tragic deaths in the past few weeks have reminded me of a rule that is followed on the mountain by skiers and snowboarders regarding right-of-way. It goes something like this:

    Whoever is in front of you has right-of-way - they cannot see you. Yield to them no matter what.\"

    Amen to that.

    This whole thing is just so sad, and so uneccesary.

    I wish America had tighter standards with regards to passing the driving test. I think the DMV needs to take a much more proactive role and responsibility in driver safety. I recently took my USA driving test, and the whole experience was nothing short of farcical.

    Whereas in England, you typically take a one and half hour lesson, every single week for about 56 weeks, learning dozens of different manoevers, emergency stops, how to share the road etc, before you are allowed to take your theory or practice driving test. And the failure rate for both tests is high. I have friends in England who had to take their driving test five times. It basically boils down to, if you can\'t drive properly, you don\'t get a license.

    As a result, England has nowhere near, and I mean, nowhere NEAR the percentage of auto-related accidents the USA has.

    Education, education, education.

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  • Bob October 22, 2007 at 9:26 pm

    I arrived at the scene of the accident as the police were conducting there exoneration of the garbage truck driver...er.. what I meant to say was there investigation of the incident. After listening to the Police spokesman on the news it was clear the Police were going to bend the law and the laws of physics to exonerate the garbage man.
    If the bicycle was going too fast (the cops words not mine) and the garbage truck passed the bicylist just before making the turn wasnt the 40 ton truck going too fast as well?

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  • rixtir October 22, 2007 at 9:35 pm

    Kirsty, what you describe is a society that refuses to accept the level of carnage that we accept. Of course, we also allow citizens to own guns, so maybe there\'s something in our society that is more accepting of a higher risk of death. But clearly, if we WANTED to end the carnage, other countries have demonstrated success. It all comes down to political will.

    Matt, 133, I was right hooked on the way to Tracey\'s memorial ride. To hook me, the car had to pass me first, because she was behind me. She pulled even with me at her turn, and then turned. There was no misunderstanding about my rate of speed.

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  • Michael October 22, 2007 at 9:41 pm

    My condolences as well to the family and friends for their loss. To Portland as well.

    to #134, precisely what I think as well, it is education, education, educate.

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  • rixtir October 22, 2007 at 9:44 pm

    Negligent operation of a motor vehicle causing death or serious bodily injury to another person needs to be a felony.

    And I would add, negligently cause bodily injury, you lose your license for a while, the length dependent upon the severity of the injuries, but never less than a year.

    Kill somebody, and you lose your license for life. Period.

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  • BURR October 22, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    the trouble with the bike lane in this situation, beyond its obvious location to the right of a right-turning vehicle, is that it encourages other traffic to pass cyclists when in fact they shouldn\'t. the truck driver would have lost practically no time at all if he had slowed down and let the cyclist ride in front of him, which would have been the case if the bike lane wasn\'t present, and would have prevented this crash from occurring.

    I\'ve taken the lane on SE Clinton to prevent busses from passing me, because I thought it was unsafe for them to do so, regardless of the presence of the bike lane.

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  • tim October 22, 2007 at 10:01 pm

    thanks, a.O, very well said.

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  • John October 22, 2007 at 10:03 pm

    \"These trucks do not stop on a dime.\" WRONG! As a mechanical engineer I have to open my mouth on this one. They can stop on a dime! Truck brakes are designed to be adequate (duh, why wouldn\'t they be?), OK, a long mtn grade yes, overheating can occur, but in city, from 30-40 mph, they can stop as fast as any other vehicle... Yes they weigh more, but that weight gives them proportional braking force.

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  • John October 22, 2007 at 10:06 pm

    Also when i came through the intesection after work, i had no idea what had happen but there appeared to be work being done to the traffic light control box.

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  • janel October 22, 2007 at 10:09 pm

    man, what is going on.. makes me mad and sad.

    These crashes are posted on this site then fade under other layers of postings, which naturally happens with a blog.

    I remember that summer of 2005 when many bike fatalities happened and a site was set up by BTA I believe which tracked each crash and provided detailed descriptions with detailed outcomes. Is that site still running?? Anyone have the address?

    Ride like you are invisible people..

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  • Qwendolyn October 22, 2007 at 10:09 pm

    In response to post #99:

    You are way out of line. Somebody died.

    All the facts aren\'t out yet, but every indication is that the truck driver failed to yield. As others have already posted, he was required by law to do so.

    He is lucky the cyclist was not a damn freight train.

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  • nicole October 22, 2007 at 10:16 pm

    Update: I just heard back from Frank (KGW\'s online editor) and he has changed the sentence to:

    \"Earlier this month, a 19-year-old woman died after being struck by a cement truck downtown.\"

    the editor hasn\'t changed the article yet,
    what remains is only a misspelling:
    apparently tracey sparling \"sslammed\" into the truck.

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  • anon October 22, 2007 at 10:17 pm

    #135 wrote:
    >>Education, education, education.

    Would that it were that simple here in America.

    Britain is a tiny place, with a populace who were sold on density centuries ago because they had no room and therefore no choice.

    America is still the land of Wide Open Spaces, endless freeways and a landscape made for cars. America is also a culture built on the notion of getting one\'s half acre in those wide open spaces. Density doesn\'t play so well here.

    All the education in the world will not change the reality that cars and bikes cannot always share the same roads. And all the planning in the world won\'t give bicycles enough safe spaces to ride because cars aren\'t going away in our lifetime.

    The law is an ass. The law cannot be applied equally to bicycle and automobiles without someone getting hurt, usually the person operating the smaller and lighter vehicle.

    Want to make things better? Begin to envision a world without automobile dependence, and begin to scale back your life to reflect that vision.

    If everyone started to live wth less dependence on automobiles we *might* see the change we desire by the time our grandchildren are grandparents themselves. Meanwhile, ride like hell and stay under the radar.

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  • Matt October 22, 2007 at 10:22 pm

    Three words.

    Mandatory. Truck. Sidebars.

    Three more words.

    So. Incredibly. Sad.

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  • lovemotionstory October 22, 2007 at 10:22 pm

    i really appreciate jonno\'s comment (#47) about a \"right-hook awareness campaign\" and kirsty\'s (#135) regarding lack of driver\'s education in our country. let\'s get cyclists and drivers more aware of what leads to deaths like the two we\'ve seen this month at the very least, but i\'d love it if a driver\'s license were a much harder thing to acquire than it currently is. maybe then, drivers would be taking their responsibilities a little more seriously, instead of so often feeling entitled to drive on the road.

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  • not a lawyer October 22, 2007 at 10:27 pm

    \"It\'s time for Portlanders to stand up, again, to the tyranny of the automobile.\"

    Can you tell me if the food you buy is delivered by rickshaw? And what kind of vehicle delivers bikes and bike parts? Are you going to bike your garbage and recycling miles to the nearest transfer station?

    The combustion engine, whether you like it or not, is what enables you to live the lifestyle you do.

    Yes, you may not own a car and you may bike everywhere. But your lives are inherently tied into the economy - and the economy is powered by the combustion engine.

    You should reflect on how your lives would be different if you did not have access to the things that trucks deliver.

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  • MR. B October 22, 2007 at 10:36 pm

    My sympathies to the family of bicyclist and the driver of yet another crash.

    Did this commercial truck have a black box?

    LEGISLATION
    - How about updating OR law to not allow motor vehicles from overtaking a bicyclist in a bike lane when making a right turn (or left turn on a one way street).

    - New state laws to require convex mirrors, front quarter panel side signals, black boxes for trucks over 10,000 lbs. And side wheel guards for trucks with more than 2 axles.

    MASS WAKE RIDE
    Carl...if there is an organized ride in memorial to this rider, how about inviting March Fourth (playing a dirge) and having riders walk with torches in traffic to a key location (City Hall, Trucking HQ, etc.)

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  • encephalopath October 22, 2007 at 10:50 pm

    not a lawyer #152

    Thanks so much for that carefully worded false dichotomy.

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  • Ji€m F. October 22, 2007 at 10:58 pm

    This one hits me hard since I ride through this intersection every day.

    I have no idea why the truck passed the cyclist, then turned without knowing where the cyclist was.

    I have no idea why the cyclist thought it was a good idea to pass a big truck in an intersection.

    Neither decision makes any sense at all to me.

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  • Spencer October 22, 2007 at 11:00 pm

    I feel very sorry for Brett and his family. I feel very sorry for the friends and co-workers of Brett. I feel very sorry for every cyclist reading this.

    We are also victims due to the grief and stress tragedy like this creates. Events like this make us all look at ourselves and the loved ones who ride, and become fearful. Fear breeds anger.

    Everyone please evaluate where and how you ride. Look for ways to protect yourself. Train yourself to ride defensively. Speak up and work with PDOT, the police, and anyone else able to help to minimize the risk.

    Finally, please remember, that despite all the safety devices in the world, riding is always going to possess inherent dangers. Please take care and my thoughts will be with you all.

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  • girl October 22, 2007 at 11:11 pm

    I ride this way everyday - it\'s a dangerous intersection. i\'m not sure what the traffic is like around noon, but in the mornings there are plenty of bikes going down that hill and in the bike lane all along interstate. Most drivers on the road are use to seeing bikes and are cautious of these hazardous areas. It\'s my opinion that the driver was not paying attention to his surroundings(perhaps talking to his passenger), having just passed the cyclist. How can you not know they are there if you just passed them?

    I\'m curious if anyone has said whether or not the garbage truck signaled?

    I do like the advice above(Kristi 136) \"Whoever is in front of you has right-of-way - they cannot see you. Yield to them no matter what.\" However poster 99 - have you ever even riden a bike in traffic? if you have you will realize that it is impossible to \"Basic traffic law says do not exceed a speed where where you could not stop in time to avoid another vehicle or a stationary object in your path.\" when there are cars passing beside you, constantly and changing their speed and direction. what you suggest is that we walk our bikes on the side walk and still hope a car doesn\'t hit you while crossing in the cross walk when you have the right of way!

    But honestly, tt\'s not about who\'s right here, it\'s about saving your a life. Possibly your own.

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  • zilfondel October 22, 2007 at 11:16 pm

    \"The next time you make a right turn from the center lane on Broadway you can tell the guy who T-bones you that it\'s his fault for rear ending you.

    See, on idiot\'s world, once you pass the cyclist, all of your responsibilities are transferred to the cyclist...\"

    See, I think that\'s the crux of the issue. From a driver\'s experience only driving with other cars, if you slam on your brakes or turn right and are rear-ended, it\'s the driver\'s fault behind you for not stopping in time, not yours.

    Most driver\'s don\'t realize that bicycle paths have the right-of-way OVER their right turns, so they\'ll continue to turn into your way and then *splat.*

    Ask people what they think the law is - friends, family - I bet what most will answer.

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  • Melanie October 22, 2007 at 11:20 pm

    I have been a cyclist for 20 years. I always ride on the defense. I have a side mirror. At an intersection I look all four ways before crossing. You have to be aware of your surroundings. As far as trying to pass legislation to regulate how many more mirrors a semi has to have, how about legislating all adults and children have to wear helmets and have mirrors on bikes.

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  • Stephanie October 22, 2007 at 11:22 pm

    I was born and raised in Seattle and moved here 4 years ago, and have NEVER in my life seen so many pedestrians and cyclists killed. I was an avid rider is Seattle, but I won\'t ride on the roads here because of the very thing that happened to these two poor cyclists in the past few weeks. Something has got to change in Portland, but not sure what the solution should be. My heart goes out to families of the loved ones lost in these accidents.

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  • Todd Boulanger October 22, 2007 at 11:27 pm

    While watching the KGW video news report on this crash there was another traffic saftey item - a repeat DUI driver trys to escape jail:

    http://www.kgw.com/news-local/stories/kgw_102207_news_court_runner.199112b03.html

    By JACK PENNING, for kgw.com
    A man accused of driving drunk - twice - ran out of a Hillsboro courtroom, right as the judge was raising his bail. Washington County Sheriff\'s Deputies say Javier Solas was appearing on two counts of felony DUI, when the judge raised his bail to $100,000. As soon as that happened, deputies say, Solas took off, because, deputies say, he couldn\'t afford to pay his bond.

    ...clip...

    Video from surveillance cameras showed Deputy Gravely leading Solas back into the building, where the judge set his bail at $250,000. ...

    Deputies describe Solas as a repeat DUI offender, which is why, they say, it\'s so important he stays off the streets.

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  • Spencer October 22, 2007 at 11:35 pm

    So here is an idea for intersection improvement.

    Two accidents at Greely and Interstate and counting. Part of the problem of this intersection is that it is near the bottom of a long down hill. It is easy to get up to high speed for cars (car: 45+) and bikes(Bike: 30+). There is also a slight bend to it so there is not a clear line of sight all the way down.

    Maybe PDOT should just make this intersection a four way stop. It would be a shame to loose the momentum, but it would make it a lot safer for everyone.

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  • Mr. B October 22, 2007 at 11:49 pm

    More information on the trucking firm and possible conditions its drivers operate under...from their employment ad:

    AGG Enterprises, Inc.
    Address: 5555 N. Channel Avenue

    Portland, Oregon 97217
    Jobs: View All AGG Enterprises, Inc. Jobs

    AGG, a locally owned sanitation company in commercial accounts only, is currently embarking on a recruiting effort to add 12 additional drivers to its already existing staff of 55 drivers. ...

    The four work days will most likely be ten hours long but could sometimes be twelve hour days which would result in time and a half pay for overtime after forty hours.

    http://www.jobdango.com/af/katu/jobseekers/employersprofile.asp?EmployerID=8012

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  • motorist October 23, 2007 at 12:44 am

    It seems pretty obvious that this system that is in place right now that permits bikes to place themselves in these precarious positions dosn\'t work well at all. when I was younger and rode a lot we didn\'t have bike lanes, we always shared the lanes. I thought it was pretty cool when they made lanes for bikes, I thought it would be safer. This thing about intersections is just stupid. It gives bikers a false sense of security. Yes they do have rights, but those rights don\'t do you any good when your dead. It would be wiser to take the lane at the intersection, or else yeild like hell so you don\'t get hooked, that means staying in control and at a safe spead to stop. Sure if you take the lane you don\'t get to pass all those cars who took 2 blocks to finally get around you so you could only end up right in front of them again......... but if you are in back of the vehicle you won\'t get hooked. Motorcycles are required to ride with a headlamp on at all times. It should be the same for bikes too, and I dont mean a little blinky thing.
    I feal bad for this guy, it sounds like he was a hell of a guy that fell victim to a poor system

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  • Joe Rowe October 23, 2007 at 12:57 am

    My sympathy goes out to the friends, family and coworkers. Justice will take time.

    Passing someone and then making a right turn in front of them within a short measure of time is a crime. The driver is at fault. The police are also at fault for not enforcing the law.

    Any witness to the event can press charges even if the cops will not do their job. What is the name of the driver? Any citizen can press charges directly, no cop needed. Just call Ray Thomas, a bike lawyer
    http://www.stc-law.com/contact.html

    Any witness to the accident or witness to the cops on the scene following can file a complaint against the police at:
    http://www.bit.ci.portland.or.us/IPR/ccintake.cfm
    Independent Police Review

    What makes the driver more guilty:
    ==========================
    - the victim was on 2 wheels
    - the victim was in a bike lane
    - the vehicle in violtion had limitations known to the driver of said vehicle that increased the risk to the victim

    At least 3 statutes were violated by the truck driver:
    811.060 811.135 811.140
    http://www.leg.state.or.us/ors/811.html

    811.060 Vehicular assault of bicyclist or pedestrian; penalty. (1) For the purposes of this section, “recklessly” has the meaning given that term in ORS 161.085.
    (2) A person commits the offense of vehicular assault of a bicyclist or pedestrian if:
    (a) The person recklessly operates a vehicle upon a highway in a manner that results in contact between the person’s vehicle and a bicycle operated by a person, a person operating a bicycle or a pedestrian; and
    (b) The contact causes physical injury to the person operating a bicycle or the pedestrian.

    811.135 Careless driving; penalty. (1) A person commits the offense of careless driving if the person drives any vehicle upon a highway or other premises described in this section in a manner that endangers or would be likely to endanger any person or property.
    (2) The offense described in this section, careless driving, applies on any premises open to the public and is a Class B traffic violation unless commission of the offense contributes to an accident. If commission of the offense contributes to an accident, the offense is a Class A traffic violation. [1983 c.338 §570; 1995 c.383 §20]

    811.140 Reckless driving; penalty. (1) A person commits the offense of reckless driving if the person recklessly drives a vehicle upon a highway or other premises described in this section in a manner that endangers the safety of persons or property.
    (2) The use of the term “recklessly” in this section is as defined in ORS 161.085.
    (3) The offense described in this section, reckless driving, is a Class A misdemeanor and is applicable upon any premises open to the public. [1983 c.338 §571]

    worth attention by police, reporters, anyone
    ============================
    - perform a search of the truck to find if there were any distractions, coffee, food, cell phone, on the CB radio, get all cell phone records
    - seal off access to the controls for the intersection lighting. Do not allow any city engineers access to the systems. Run tests the next day at the same time, seal off the intersection and run various combinations where vehicles from other directions can modify the signals
    - Drug test the driver of the truck, deep freeze extra blood samples for future processing
    - Run a search on the driving record of the driver in all 50 states
    - Impound the truck so that no company staff can remove or reprogram any equipment onboard to capture information.
    - Have any data from such devices copied and preserved ASAP. Sometimes data is overwritten within 24 hours unless captured.
    - Collect a list of witnesses, there had to be other car drivers and humans nearby. The key to any fair court hearing is the total number of witnesses. Don\'t expect police to record all witness names and information. Cops often lie or don\'t care about the victim and tell a witness on the scene to go away or that they have enough information.

    my 2 cents, signed Joe

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  • Matt Picio October 23, 2007 at 1:05 am

    motorist (#164) - it *is* safer. Despite the recent rash of fatalities, cycling fatalities in Portland have remained basically flat for the last 15 years. Since the cycling population has exploded since then, it means that the rate of fatalities has dropped.

    Stephanie (#160) - I\'m sorry you feel cycling in Portland is unsafe - statistics show it\'s safer than in Seattle. It may not seem that way sometimes, but it is.

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  • toddistic October 23, 2007 at 1:07 am

    typical motorist response. *gasp* the cement truck driver had a distraction in his truck, i mean a witness. professional driver my ass.

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  • Roll Hardy October 23, 2007 at 1:13 am

    Brett was a close friend of mine, and had alot friends in the cycling community here. He was a very exprienced rider and knew what he was doing on his bike. I can\'t believe this happened to him, it has left a gaping hole inside of many.

    This afternoon on Interstate ave I was cut off big time from a motorist doing the same thing that killed Brett, I had my 1 year old son in the bike trailer and it scared the shit out of me. God Bless Brett Jarolimek and his family.

    No matter how many laws are made people, they can\'t protect you from everything. Please share the road with us. Brett would have never wanted anyone to be discouraged or intimidated by wanting to ride and I will never stop although after today I had a few doubts- and I\'m a hardened rider who used to courier in Manhatten.

    Peace.

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  • zilfondel October 23, 2007 at 1:16 am

    The Oregonian has what appears to be an excellent article on the incident on their website:

    http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/news/1193109912293460.xml&coll=7

    Although some posters here may still find it pro-car, it\'s a lot less biased than the stories from other news agencies.

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  • averagedriver October 23, 2007 at 1:24 am

    I think it\'s about time that cyclists begin learning what I have always been taught about right-of-way, don\'t just take it because it is yours. That simple little pause to see what the other guy is going to to do(whether give that right-of-way to me or be a jerk) has saved me and I\'m sure many others from having many accidents. Common sense is what has been lacking all over and it\'s getting people killed. Maybe the garbage truck was doing wrong, all I know is I keep myself alert around any big truck because they are bigger and can do much damage. Life is to short to be putting yourself in a position to be hurt or even killed just because you have the right-of-way. RIP to those lost this year.

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  • Steven J. October 23, 2007 at 3:18 am

    I ride early Morning nearly every day around town. AGG and other haulers pay little attention to anything but their \"next\" stop. backwards on one way streets, speeding, disregard for bikes are only their top three.
    when will Portland learn that with Vera Katz\'s \"one town one condo\" vision has turned PDX into not only a construction zone, but what used to be considered Commercial areas are now residential.
    Residential areas, have strict guidelines
    on garbage hauling hours, and contracts.
    20 or so different haulers now blanket the area.
    At least with a bid system, they could be pre-screened, and their driver history\'s could be considered.
    And If the Oregonian wants to look in a mirror, they\'d see a bunch of their delivery drivers breaking more laws than Garbage trucks.

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  • Dr. Mark Ross October 23, 2007 at 5:02 am

    Thats makes 2 trucks with signals on wanting to make a right turn that bicyclists have come up from behind on only to be squashed.

    Law or no law, both bicylists IGNORED visual clues and literally pedaled to the other side.

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  • pdxsteve October 23, 2007 at 6:36 am

    Could this have been prevented...?

    maybe another argument for

    TAKING

    THE

    LANE!

    my condolences to the rider and his family.

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  • Ross Williams October 23, 2007 at 7:03 am

    Most driver\'s don\'t realize that bicycle paths have the right-of-way OVER their right turns, so they\'ll continue to turn into your way and then *splat.*

    I think that is correct. And there is a schizophrenic message that is being given to drivers. We start with the generalization that bikes are like other vehicles and should be expected to act like them with all the same rights and responsibilities. Then we add a bike lane that passes on the right through right-turning traffic, like no other vehicle.

    I think the most important thing we can do is make ourselves predictable. Unfortunately, that desire is not going to get me to take the right-of-way when someone is turning right across my path, even if I am in the bike lane. I am not that trusting. I am not even that trusting when I am sheathed in a ton of steel operating a motor vehicle, I sure am not going to be that trusting on my bike with or without a helmet.

    And that predictability applies to driver \"must have seen him since they passed him\" argument. There are a lot of us out there on bikes, its not extraordinary to pass one in the bike lane. Its likely Brett was going less than half as fast when he was passed as when he reached the bottom of the hill. Again most vehicles going 15-20 don\'t suddenly speed up to 30-40. So if you passed him at the top of the hill, you probably aren\'t thinking about his likely impact on a turn you are going to make a couple blocks later.

    I have always supported bike lanes as a way to get more people on bikes and using them for transportation, not just recreation. But the argument against them has always been that they create a false sense of security, that it is safer for riders to take the lane and demand their share of the road. I think that argument has more merit than I used to.

    Bike lanes are not separated bike paths. They are supposed to make it safer for people to share the road. But if they don\'t do that, it may be time to rethink them as a tool for increasing bike use.

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  • davidio October 23, 2007 at 7:08 am

    i ride down Interstate every morning for my commute - and i\'m definitely taking the lane through this intersection from now on.

    My heart goes out to Brett and his extended family here in Portland and wherever else they may be.

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  • Sadder Wiser October 23, 2007 at 7:31 am

    Two things: Wear neon--quiet good taste will get you killed in some circumstances. Wear colors that are impossible to ignore. Assume that any motorist has neither attention span nor sound eyesight.

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  • Tbird October 23, 2007 at 7:42 am

    Actually Dr. Mark- that makes 2 trucks with signals on who failed to yield to oncoming traffic, resulting in 2 tragic and senseless deaths. Sad.
    When will we get out of the auto enabler mode and realize it is the larger, more deadly vehicle who has the burden of restraint?!
    Just because you own a car doesn\'t mean you own the road.

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  • a.O October 23, 2007 at 7:49 am

    \"The combustion engine, whether you like it or not, is what enables you to live the lifestyle you do.\"

    Thanks for the economy lesson, not a lawyer. We\'re not talking about banning the internal combustion engine. We\'re talking about making people who drive responsible for the externalities caused by motor vehicles: hazardous air pollution, global warming, and DEATH.

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  • V-Strom October 23, 2007 at 7:57 am

    Horrible tragic preventable event.

    Cars are NEVER going away.

    Even if the numbers were reversed for bikes and cars there would still be incidents like these. Its just simple math. Cycling is a hazardous activity.

    Work to improve how drivers perceive bikers. Dont make it worse.

    Stop expecting to be able to use traffic lanes designed mostly for cars as though you are a car.

    NEVER PASS A CAR IN AN INTERSECTION!
    The truck is bright orange and the size of a small building. Respect it and keep a safety zone.
    Worry about your road rights etc... later.
    Now there is one less good bicycle proponent/voter.

    Also, in the motorcycle community there is an acronym ATGATT.
    All The Gear All The Time.
    Dont ride unprotected ever.

    How I look at my daily commute (by motorcycle)
    Someone will probably die in traffic today. Be determined that it will not be you even if it means swallowing your pride and perceived rights.

    God Bless us all and those hurt by this tragedy.

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  • toddistic October 23, 2007 at 8:12 am

    I find it somewhat hard to believe a seasoned cyclist who works at a bikeshop would be out of control down a hill. More than likely, the truck driver did not signal the required distance, took the turn right after putting on the blinker.

    Cagers are really out in force on the site.

    The truck driver broke the law when he did NOT yield to the bike lane. Like it or not, THAT IS THE LAW AND HE BROKE IT! His negligent behaviour caused the DEATH of another human being and he should be held liable. Not that we expect Lt. KKKruger would do anything about it...

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  • Curt Dewees October 23, 2007 at 8:22 am

    Truck sympathist (post #99) said:
    \"The suggestion that a truck should stop in the middle of an intersection, with a green light, to wait for cyclists overtaking on the right, because they might be traveling too fast to reasonably respond to other traffic is patently absurd.\"

    This seems to be a common misperception among a lot of drivers; that once they pass a bicyclist in a bike lane, they no longer have to yield the bicylist, even if the car/truck driver has to slow down to make a right-hand turn.

    The car/truck drivers seem to think, \"Because I was ahead of you when I activated my turn signal, it is now your reponsibility to slow down, stop your forward movement, and let me cross your lane in front of you.\"

    Whereas most of us bicyclists believe (correctly) that we still have the right of way when we are in the bike lane, even if the right-turning car/truck happens to be positioned slightly ahead of us.

    Obviously, there are horrible consequences when both the car/truck driver and the bicyclist act on their beliefs simultanously.

    Then the truck driver & friends blame the bicyclist for not yielding; the deceased bicyclist\'s friends blame the truck driver for not yielding.

    I don\'t know what the answer is (other than sending all car and truck drivers back to school for some mandatory \"driver\'s education\" on this issue. (??) Not realistic, I know.)

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  • a.O October 23, 2007 at 8:23 am

    \"Stop expecting to be able to use traffic lanes designed mostly for cars as though you are a car.\"

    No. You stop expecting us to act like timid, second-class road users. You start expecting people operating motor vehicles to pay attention. You start expecting people to pay a steep price when they kill someone by their own negligence.

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  • MIke October 23, 2007 at 8:24 am

    My thoughts are with the family and friends of Brett.
    Everyone, please ride safe, and realize there are many poor drivers on the road, some with good intentions but still poor drivers. It is a sad reminder to ride more cautious...... for Brett.
    Keep spinning.

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  • a.O October 23, 2007 at 8:28 am

    \"Cars are NEVER going away.\"

    No, but all the cager trolls will, as soon as their fake moral outrage dies down.

    And so are people who don\'t know the law and think they can drive however they want, as soon as we start MAKING THEM PAY FOR THEIR NEGLIGENCE.

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  • Karl October 23, 2007 at 8:50 am

    I posted on the forums some time ago about how the Interstate bike route is dangerous, largely due to light timings. I\'m starting to think that bikes need a controlled light at this intersection like they do at the broadway bridge at Lovejoy. It\'s just too blind an intersection for everyone involved.

    If you\'re a bike coming down Interstate, traffic southbound on Greeley can\'t see you until it\'s too late. If you\'re a car on Interstate southbound you probably don\'t realize how fast the bikes are coming down this hill.

    For the record and for anyone else who commutes this hill:

    I have found that the safest way to take this intersection is to take it easy down the hill. If you do, the light will turn red before you get to the bottom. Stop 2/3 of the way down the hill. From there you can see traffic on Greeley. Wait for the light. Use the remainder of the hill to pick up speed and you will make it through both (badly) timed lights without losing sight of traffic. You also will not be contending with traffic usually by the time you reach the light.

    I\'m now so horribly sorry that I never called the PDOT about this intersection like I said I would in my forum post. :(

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  • Dan Burton October 23, 2007 at 8:51 am

    How was this guy not speeding if he overtook Brett. Anyone who has ridden this stretch knows a bike is going at least the speed limit.
    This is such crap. When is it going to be a crime to run over cyclists?

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  • I'm Confused October 23, 2007 at 8:57 am

    Have you read all the posts about how cyclists come down that hill, gathering speed and are unable to stop at the signal? What is that? As a vehicle on the road YOU MUST BE ABLE TO CONTROL YOUR VEHICLE IN SUCH A WAY AS TO BE ABLE TO STOP AT ANY SIGNAL IF IT TURNS ON YOU. If not, you are going too fast for the conditions. No excuses.

    Seriously, what would your reaction be if a driver came down that hill, gathering speed and couldn\'t stop for the light?

    Grow up and stop using the fact that you\'re on a bicycle as your excuse to pick and choose which vehicle laws you\'ll honor. Stand up and scream that the bike lane is a sacred, inviolable space, but then also lament that it\'s too much of a burden to have to stop at those pesky lights and stop signs when you just get going too darned fast (those only govern motorized vehicles, anyway, right?).

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  • a.O October 23, 2007 at 9:03 am

    You\'re right, you are confused. In fact, you\'re totally clueless.

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  • brAd October 23, 2007 at 9:05 am

    Although Portland is often called \"The best biking city in the USA\", that does not mean that it is a GOOD biking city.

    How many deaths must occur before our leaders take the steps to separate bikes from cars and buses and trains. I will not consider this city \"bike friendly\" until pre-teen children can safely travel to school and to parks and to friends\' houses by bike.

    The day after the W. Burnside ride last week I came upon a scene of a biker hit by a car two blocks from my house. Seeing the broken windshield reminded me of my own hood flips and door vaults.

    Last year my wife witnessed the fatal crash on SE Stark.

    General Motors somehow convinced cities to re-organize themselves to accomomdate automobiles. Surely we can now do the same for bikes!

    Lets be safe and expect more from our transportation leaders.

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  • I\'m Confused October 23, 2007 at 9:21 am

    To a.O and anyone else who thinks that cyclists don\'t pick and choose the vehicle laws they\'ll obey: Answer this question honestly:

    Have you ever (even once) come up to a red light at a deserted intersection -- no cars coming in any direction -- and went ahead and went through before your light turned green?

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  • t October 23, 2007 at 9:23 am

    awful! Brett was a very nice person and will be missed by those who knew and loved him.

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  • N.I.K. October 23, 2007 at 9:32 am

    Seriously, what would your reaction be if a driver came down that hill, gathering speed and couldn\'t stop for the light?

    The same one for any vehicle operator going too fast for the conditions or to be obey traffic laws. Except my ire is usually quite a bit higher for the motorists, what with that off-the-books \"10mph over the speed limit\" free pass they get all the time.

    On one hand, yeah, you\'re absolutely right: careening down a hill at a thoroughly insane velocity when there\'s a stop at the bottom, let alone a blind intersection, is stupid. Anyone engaging in such is willfully setting themselves up for somewhere between a ticket and a tragedy.

    On the other hand, that\'s not what happened here. A tuck overtook a cyclist on a downhill stretch of road, signaled a turn, and went into the turn, at which point the collision happened. It\'s not too difficult to consider the speed the truck was traveling down that hill in order to overtake the cyclist. And if the cyclist is going too fast for conditions, that means the truck is going even more than too fast for conditions.

    If you\'re here for discussion, I\'d advise more carefully considering your points before posting.

    If you\'re here for starting fights, though, grow up or get lost. Your pick.

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  • a.O October 23, 2007 at 9:35 am

    I\'m Confused, have you ever exceeded the speed limit? Jaywalked? Go away, troll.

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  • V-Strom October 23, 2007 at 9:36 am

    a.O. 182/184

    Failure to take charge of your foolish pride will lead to more bent metal and weeping friends. I am not defending poor driving. All I am doing is pointing out how to stay alive which should be the first order of business. Everything else is secondary. If yielding to a improperly driven car makes you feel like a \'second class citizen\' then you have some serious maturing to do. What class of citizen and what good are you to the biking community and anything else you care about in general if you end up under a truck?
    Anger can be a good thing IF applied properly. \'Demand\' your rights vs a car in traffic and you will lose every time. Odds are you wont get a second chance to make the correct decision. Think any of the recently departed would change how they approached the incidents if given a second chance?
    I speak from experience friend.
    Wise up.

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  • a.O October 23, 2007 at 9:50 am

    \"All I am doing is pointing out how to stay alive which should be the first order of business.\"

    Wow, what a effing revelation! Thanks so much for that wisdom. What would we do without your sage advice?

    Now, master of the obvious, let\'s start focusing on the people who are AT FAULT HERE, BECAUSE NO AMOUNT OF PRECAUTION, SHORT OF STAYING OFF THE ROAD COMPLETELY, WILL SAVE *ANYONE* IF PEOPLE DON\'T START DRIVING WITHIN THE LAW.

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  • Mike October 23, 2007 at 9:52 am

    \"...so are people who don\'t know the law and think they can drive however they want, as soon as we start MAKING THEM PAY FOR THEIR NEGLIGENCE.\"

    Amen to that. The impulsive reaction to events like this is to call for more punishment under criminal law. But, prosecuting drivers seems unlikely to inspire companies and government agencies to ensure that drivers are adequately trained to share the road, and that vehicles are designed so drivers can clearly see cyclists.

    One thing that might improve things would be to create a legal presumption that a commercial driver -- who hits a cyclist riding legally in a marked bike lane -- is at fault, and to hit employers of commercial truck drivers where it hurts: in the pocketbook.

    A driver goes to jail, they\'ll just hire another driver. The company loses a lawsuit and has to pay a substantial sum? Maybe some changes will be made.

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  • encephalopath October 23, 2007 at 9:52 am

    V-Strom #194

    I am sick to death of people showing up here to lecture cyclists on how they need to be careful, as if they aren\'t doing that already. There is NO way to how and when motorists are going to disobey the law in a way that puts cyclists in danger. It\'s patronizing and insulting for you to presume to tell us how we need to ride to be safe.

    The risks for riding a motorcycle are very different. Analogous in some ways, but that doesn\'t give you any special insight into the sort of things that happen when riding a bicycle. The motorcycle takes the full lane and travels at the speed limit. The challenges of riding a bicycle are not the same… not even close.

    There is no magic formula to apply that will predict driver behavior and give you the clear path to safety. To claim that the two recent victim should have just applied safety measure X and everything would have been fine is just insulting the dead. Stop it.

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  • V-Strom October 23, 2007 at 9:57 am

    #197
    Don\'t assume I dont know what its like to use a bicycle to commute. I have done so for years prior to relocating further from the city and replacing with a motorcycle.
    Also, forgive me for caring what happens to you and a.O. and others. Just my nature to not want to see people hurt.
    Not sure how you are insulted by that but thats out of my control.

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  • encephalopath October 23, 2007 at 10:02 am

    #198

    \"Don\'t assume I dont know what its like to use a bicycle to commute.\"

    Then talk about you bicycle experiences. Your references to motorcycle riding are irrelevant.

    You\'ve been making lots of presumptions about other people\'s behavior without any evidence, then offering high handed instruction to everyone based on your presumption. That\'s instulting. Does that really need to spelled out to you further?

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  • Non-cyclist October 23, 2007 at 10:05 am

    The thing that makes me nervous about these is how many kids ride bikes and how many parents pull little ones in trailers. But then when I thought about it harder, I can\'t remember ever hearing about a collision like this involving a a trailer or a tandem. Or a 14 year old.

    Why is that? As a parent, I know my child is not very cautious, nor mindful of my nagging of personal safety. And I imagine parents riding with children are more cautious wrt: precious cargo.

    Is it that in these situations, cyclists and drivers are more cautious of each other? Less traveled roads, mindful of kids propensity to dart into traffic, etc.

    Just some thoughts. . . . .

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  • CDB October 23, 2007 at 10:06 am

    A driver can say \"I used my blinker before turning\", but that could be up to a fraction of a second, just before cranking on the wheel. Did the driver use his blinker for a significant amount of time PRIOR to turning his wheels? What is the law here? Did he give the cyclist (who the driver KNEW was back there somewhere) enough advance notice to be able to REALIZE that he intended to turn across the bike lane, like at least 4-5 blinks of his turn signal? Did he really take the time to identify where the cyclist went? A driver or cyclist is focused on his travel lane, and generally doesn\'t have his eyes latched onto the neighboring vehicle\'s turn signal light at all times. (The bike lane is narrow and often full of road debris, cast into the cyclist\'s path by car tires.) He may have blinked his eyes simultaneously when the light came on, or checked his mirror or glanced over his shoulder. Maybe the wind in his eyes made them water, or squint. Maybe he was past the rear blinker already when it was activated and therefor was unable to have seen it.

    Who knows what happened, or whether negligence was in play. There are a lot of variables at play. But I hope that the investigation can truly determine that IF negligence was a factor, that the responsible party IS held accountable and that efforts are made to correct the errored behaviors.

    Maybe a large vehicle like this municipal garbage truck should have a mechanical, fold-out sign, similar to the large stop signs that school busses have.

    The thin space between a curb and a large vehicle (like a garbage or cement truck) is really not a good place to be on a bicycle. Especially when there are multiple avenues for the larger vehicle to pursue, ie, a right turn at an intersection or continuing straight.

    Regardless of WHO has the right of way, the first priority when cycling close to that type of risky environment is to err on the guaranteed \"safe\" side of the decision. We are humans, and we make MISTAKES. WE ALL do. That is a fact. We get distracted. We are careless. We do HARMFUL things w/o necessarily meaning to. We are self centered. That does NOT make it RIGHT, but it is REALITY.

    Be aware of your surroundings. Cycling in traffic requires an active sense of wakefulness and that is facilitated by the crisp air in our lungs and the vigorous blood flowing in our veins. Be careful out there and be cautious w/ your assumptions.

    This is a real tragedy and loss of a well-loved and good person. Let\'s all learn from this loss and honor his memory w/ a change in how we go about our ways in the future. For the better.

    My condolences to his close friends and family.

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  • Qwendolyn October 23, 2007 at 10:13 am

    kgw says this is the fifth cyclist death this year

    link

    If you only count in Portland proper, I get the same count. Although there was a death in Vancouver, two in Washington county, as well as others around the state.

    Brett Jarolimek

    Curtis Lee Web

    Tracey Sparling

    Daniel Hunt

    Nick Bucher

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  • Me 2 October 23, 2007 at 10:15 am

    Noncyclist post 200,

    I ride the city streets regularly as a bike commuter to work and to drop my daughter off at her day care. My caution level is about the same, but two things working in my advantage from a safetynoticeability perspective are:

    1. I\'m going slower because I\'m pulling an extra 40-50 pounds; and
    2. A 3-4 foot wide trailer with a yellow backing is very hard to miss.

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  • N.I.K. October 23, 2007 at 10:16 am

    Thanks, CDB. I was just about to make note of the \"last second turn signal = worthless\" issue; now I don\'t have to.

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  • Greg October 23, 2007 at 10:24 am

    RIP Brett. You will be missed. My deepest condolences to family and friends.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) October 23, 2007 at 10:27 am

    \"kgw says this is the fifth cyclist death this year\"

    There have been six fatalities involving a bicycle in the city of Portland this year. Two of them did not involve a motor vehicle (one was bike-on-bike and the other was a bicyclist running into a telephone pole).

    This is the most bicycle fatalities ever recorded for a single year since they\'ve kept records.

    Here are the names and links to stories:

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  • Qwendolyn October 23, 2007 at 10:39 am

    That\'s an awful thing to miscount.

    I apologize and thanks for setting the record straight

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  • Stu October 23, 2007 at 10:40 am

    OK, here\'s some facts that I\'ve not heard yet. If anyone knows (not just guesses!), please say. Because until then, assigning blame is still presumptious and biased.

    1. Was the cyclist going below the speed limit? Steep downhill, dry roads, offpeak; I can\'t honestly say that I\'d stick to the speed limit in those circumstances, so it seems like a reasonable question. If both parties were breaking the law, that massively changes the whole \'cite the driver\' argument.

    2. How far in advance did the driver signal to turn? If at all? If the bike was far enough behind him at that point (which is quite possible), then common sense would tell the cyclist to take the lane behind him. The law might not agree with common sense on this point, but the law doesn\'t keep you alive. On the other hand, if the driver signalled right so late that the cyclist couldn\'t possibly see the signal, blame ensues.

    It\'s very easy to imagine a situation in which both driver and cyclist weren\'t completely paying attention, so blame would be equally divided. We\'ll never know that for sure.

    It\'s also a reminder that that is one of the most dangerous bike lanes in Portland, and an accident waiting to happen. There\'s a few of those around (NE Weidler, especially at NE 3rd Ave, springs to mind as a fatality in waiting; as does the intersection at the bottom of the hill at SE Sandy & Stark). Maybe warning signs for both bikes and cars just before these spots would help make people pay more attention?

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  • Kjean October 23, 2007 at 10:42 am

    I feel like the biking community needs to make itself heard and seen in order to let drivers know we will not tolerate this violence, (although our law enforcement seems to).
    In Glenwood Springs Co. they had a ride in which all bicylists wrote black armbands to remember those who had been killed by vehicles. Those who had been injured themselves wore red armbands. I think we should do this all week.

    http://www.postindependent.com/article/20070510/VALLEYNEWS/105100045

    I think this would be a start, but something permanent to CONSTANTLY remind drivers to watch out for bicycles is needed as well.

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  • Kristen October 23, 2007 at 10:42 am

    Hm.

    Asher 70, Paul 76, Curt 181, and Kirsty who advocates education:

    Yes. Right on.

    However, I\'m going to go further: It\'s not just motorists who need to be educated. It\'s cyclists, too. Even if it\'s just bike shops giving copies of the OR Bike Manual from the DMV to all bike purchasers.

    Billboards (no matter how unsightly, people see them), large multi-page ads in newspapers, PSAs on the radio... educate everyone.

    A little more knowledge isn\'t going to hurt anyone.

    For the rest of you who delight in calling motorists \"cagers\" and \"trolls\": way to keep the discussion civil; you are totally changing people\'s minds here.

    A driver with a CDL involved in an accident (especially one like this) will lose his license; he won\'t be able to get it back, he won\'t be able to get another job driving commercially.

    And, as a Freightliner employee has told me, convex mirrors like the ones people are suggesting, are an option on at least Freightliners. Interesting, eh.

    Oh, and before I forget: it\'s called \"vehicular cycling\". Look into it. It\'s also called \"using your brain\", and I\'m aiming this sentence at anyone using the roads.

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  • Andrew October 23, 2007 at 10:48 am

    My condolences go out to Brett\'s family and close friends. I live in N. Portland and pass through this intersection daily. I stopped this morning by the GB to spend a couple minutes thinking about the people who will have to find a way to live through this horrible experience and that another life has been lost long before its rightful time.

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  • DK October 23, 2007 at 10:48 am

    Whatever happened out there on the hill yesterday, should let us all know if it could happen to a very experienced rider, and in the bike biz no doubt, it could happen to anybody. A quick or ill conceived decision by either the rider or the driver...or both, lead to this wreck.

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  • WHEN WILL PEOPLE LEARN October 23, 2007 at 11:07 am

    This is absurd. The truck got rear ended by a cyclist. Every insurance company in the world would call this negligence on the cyclists part. I don\'t care what is happening...if there is someone turning right in front of you it is your responsibility to slow down till they finish their turn.

    Everyone always wants to check the drivers blood alchohol level...seems like we ought to start checking the cyclists as well as I can\'t understand this behavior. I can\'t imagine cycling myself and not staying well clear of a freaking garbage truck...I don\'t give a rip what the law is or isn\'t. I value my life too much to want to martyr myself for cyclist rights.

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  • Matt Picio October 23, 2007 at 11:12 am

    V-Strom (#179) said: \"Cars are NEVER going away\"

    Um, if someone doesn\'t find a portable energy source to easily replace oil, then yes, they ARE going away - eventually. Oh sure, they\'ll probably never die out completely, but don\'t be so sure that 10 years from now will look anything like today.

    Other commentors (CDB was one) asked about the signaling law - you are required to signal for 100\' prior to the turn. That\'s a ridiculous restriction, and the law should be changed to read \"4 seconds\" or something like that. A car at 35 mph travels 100\' in 2 seconds - a bike at 10 mph travels 100\' in 7 seconds. Since braking distance is dependent largely on vehicle speed, rather than time, it makes sense to have a standard that varies with the rate of travel. CDB\'s point about \"last second turn signals\" is spot on.

    a_O already responded to I\'m confused (#190), who thinks cyclists pick and choose which laws they obey, but I have to add my 2 cents because I find that statement to be particularly galling - how is that different than motorists? Everyone out there on the road, except for a very small minority, is at some point breaking the vehicle laws - either because they don\'t care, they\'re in a hurry, it\'s too much effort, or in some cases, because it\'s not safe to obey the law in a given situation. There are also the rare instances where traffic control devices fail, or more likely in the case of a bicycle, do not register the traffic waiting to cross.

    We need more education for drivers and cyclists. Drivers especially need more testing, more often and more comprehensive. If people can\'t pass the test, they shouldn\'t be allowed to drive. For those who want to license cyclists - okay, I can go for that, once we revamp the motorist side of the equation. Last year, one cyclist in Oregon caused the death of a pedestrian. This year, one cyclist killed another cyclist. How many auto deaths were there in Oregon this year? I don\'t have the number readily available, but with 42,000 killed nationwide, it\'s obvious that Oregon\'s share is at least in the hundreds. Let\'s address the main problem first - people don\'t know how to drive, and they are driving the deadly vehicles. Tighten the licensing around commercial vehicle operators, then around cars, then around motorcycles, then bikes, if it\'s necessary. The heavier vehicles cause more damage - they should have a higher standard of operation.

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  • V-Strom October 23, 2007 at 11:25 am

    #199

    \"Then talk about you bicycle experiences. Your references to motorcycle riding are irrelevant.\"

    My point is that I find many of the similarities entirely relevant. Not a perfect extrapolation but combined with my experience of commuting via bike make my perspective valid and I think useful.
    (never claimed they were a silver bullet).

    \"You\'ve been making lots of presumptions about other people\'s behavior without any evidence,\"
    Presumptions? Hmmm.

    \"then offering high handed instruction to everyone based on your presumption.\"

    High handed instruction? I suppose if \'high handed instruction\' means warning someone that its better to not assume a car will yield you the ROW (right-of-way)and live to \'fight\' another day, then guess I am guilty.

    \"That\'s instulting. Does that really need to spelled out to you further?\"

    I understand that the wound is fresh so I can understand hard feelings even were non are intended. But my advice is neither \'high handed\' nor given with any malice.
    If you choose to discount it that is your choice, If you are \'insulted\' by it you have some pretty thin skin.
    Either way, it\'s your right to continue what you have been doing. It seems to be working so well.

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  • SkidMark October 23, 2007 at 11:27 am

    References to motorcycle riding are relevent. We get the same left hooks, the same cars pulling out of driveways/sidestreets right in front of us, the same \"I didn\'t see him\" excuse when we get tagged. My years as a motorcyclist made me a better, more aware, and less reckless cyclist.

    Unfortunately the one thing it taught was to ALWAYS expect the person in the car to do the wrong thing, and about 1/3rd the time, they will.

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  • encephalopath October 23, 2007 at 11:38 am

    V-Strom #213

    \"Either way, it\'s your right to continue what you have been doing. It seems to be working so well.\"

    WTF do you know about what I\'m doing or not doing? That\'s the point to seem to be consistently missing. You don\'t know the age or riding experience of any of the people posting here. There is no reason for anyone here to give automatic deference to your opinion.

    Yet you persist in you expecting we should all gather around to hear your wisdom and thereby be edified.

    Whether you intend to insult people or not is beside the point. You continue to display a \"Daddy knows best\" attitude toward other posters and then are mystified when people don\'t respond positively.

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  • john October 23, 2007 at 11:52 am

    So What Happened? Upon learning that it was an expert cyclist, Brett, obviously as good of a rider as any of us, this becomes bothersome, and demands (and Brett deserves) our thought. Here\'s what I think happened (after reading Oregonian\'s article): \"The truck and SUV pass Brett near the top of the hill\". (That the SUV is there, is important.). They start going down the hill. I would guess that Brett is a little behind the SUV by about a 1/2 of the way down and probably stays about there until the Truck slows. I would guess the garbage truck is going pretty good, probably 30 mph or more. The garbage truck driver probably signals at about 2/3 down the hill, and starts putting on brakes. He has to brake fairly hard, because the turn is sharp and he is/was going fast or is coming up on the turn fast. Brett for sure sees the truck\'s signal light (yes, there\'s no way in hell he missed it, no way), and would probably would have moved over to pass on the left (as most expert cyclists do). But three factors weigh him to not (these would be what would go through my brain too). 1. The SUV is right there beside him or now slightly behind (as the SUV slows for the slowing truck), and most likely is being fairly aggressive in staying right up on the Garbage truck. So Brett can\'t really move over. 2. The Lane is sort of narrow there, and it would be hard to pass on the left anyway. And the truck driver probably moved left, swinging wide to made the right turn. 3. The truck driver probably hesitated in turning (i hope the detective asked this). Why? Cause he was going pretty fast or came up on the turn fast and now has to slow considerably before making the turn. He basically had to straight-line brake, THEN turn. This hesitation in turning, was misread by Brett, as it would possibly have been by any other expert cyclist, I know I may have. [ I always try to pass on the left. But there is a point, when in a bike lane, if the car starts to slow, you can\'t get over and its best just to get by and out of the way on the right, in the bike lane. At this point I usually spin-it-up to get by as fast as possible, minimize the delay.] Brett probably read the hesitation in turning and the truck moving left (in order to swing wide) as a sign that the driver had seen him and was waiting for him to get by. And Brett at that point in time was most certainly NOT in a blind spot. Brett probably even sped up in order to get by and out of the way quicker. Then all of a sudden, the truck driver, who has been straight line braking, now has his speed under control and just turns.
    I am positive this is close to what happened.
    It would be nice to know exactly what the SUV driver / passengers saw. Where exactly were the Garbage truck, Brett, the SUV and speeds and relative speeds at various points down the hill?
    In the back of my mind I seem to recall a garbage trucks making that turn in the manner I describe above. But it may be that I am influencing my own memory. Memory is weird and gets less accurate the more you think on an incident... Has anyone else seen garbage trucks or other big trucks making this turn in the way I describe.
    Sincerely with condolences, John Schmidt, and I have been planning to race single speed cross, would have raced with Brett. [my background only so you can weigh my comments. -21 years serious cyclist/racer/commuter, including having ridden that stretch many times.. -Ex navy intelligence officer for FA-18 squadron, assigned to aircraft carrier, secondary duty: incident investigating officer –MSME, professional engineer.] please feel free to re-post or copy. please comment or add additional thought, Brett deserves it.

    Oh yeah just to add, just got into a big arguement with a coworker, who swears up and down that if he puts on a right turn signal, he has the right of way over anything he is ahead of and any cyclist passing him then on the right is doing so illegally. I guess this happens often so he is really mad at law breaking cyclists. Whoa! If this is his understanding of the law (and he is a smart well read guy who rides too, well has done cycle oregon at least), i wonder who else ?

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  • not a lawyer October 23, 2007 at 12:03 pm

    a.O.,

    answer #190.

    Have you ever (even once) come up to a red light at a deserted intersection -- no cars coming in any direction -- and went ahead and went through before your light turned green?

    It was a fair question.

    Responding with insults is childish and only weakens your position. If you are a hypocrite, you should not be in the debate at all.

    When I\'m cycling, guess what, I try to adhere to the laws in the same manner if I was driving a car. I see way to many cyclists not just breaking, but absolutely shattering the same laws they expect others to abide by. These people are not entitled to a say in \"who should do what.\"

    The question is: Are you one of those people?

    Are you expecting a double standard for cyclists?

    And I suspect when you answer with a question or with an insult you will only prove my initial point.

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  • brady October 23, 2007 at 12:14 pm

    Kristy (136): More rigorous driver education is a great idea, but will never happen in the U.S. More licensed drivers = more $$ spent on cars and gas... most drivers have neither the vaguest idea as to what \"right of way\" is, nor the interest (and for many, the mental capacity) to learn. Placing this odious burden (sarcasm, yo) on our society would result in certain economic collapse.

    This is so sad... makes me ill to read things like this. I feel so sorry for everyone involved. I\'m not without hope for positive change, but I have been riding long enough to know that it will never be enough.

    Believe it or not, Portland IS a great biking city. I ride my bike probably 6K-8K miles each year, between commuting and recreation, and so far nobody in Portland has thrown ice, beer bottles, or unidentified hard objects at me. In Columbus, OH, people DID throw these things. No college punk has come within an inch of getting his a$$ kicked in front of his friends by somebody twice his age for calling me an \"Armstrong\"--simply because I had the nerve to ride a nice road bike near a college campus--like in OH. So, while PDX may still not be perfect, believe me, it is much better than some places, as the cycling CULTURE is deeply rooted here.

    I\'ve been hit a couple of times, and have been fortunate enough to come away alive. I hate to say it, but I am sure my riding habits have changed becuase of this.

    Even though I am an occasional driver myself, I assume that all drivers are blind, deaf, stupid and vindictive--and ride my bike in their presence accordingly. While some drivers may be offended at this, it isn\'t personal... I just think that if we all ride this way, our chances of living to ride another day are maximized. If we view all drivers in this light (some of us already do :-) ), from time to time we are bound to be pleasantly surprised... which is a nice change from having to get pissed at all of the idiots out there... so much energy wasted. Remember, most of them just don\'t get it, and never will. All we can hope is that their reproductive systems are inoperable.

    When I was in the Navy, there was a saying that was used to teach us the importance of checking that we were being paid correctly: \"nobody cares about your pay, except you.\" I now use \"nobody cares about my safety on the road, except me\" as my guiding principle, while I wait work steadily and wait patiently for PDX to become \"the perfect biking city.\"

    Safe riding, all.

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  • muddog October 23, 2007 at 12:21 pm

    I drove truck for 15 years, beem riding motorcycle and bicycle for another 10 and can say that intersection where the accident took place is one of the worst, having cyclists on the RIGHT side ( I.E. blind side ) is the stupidist engineering design I have seen. As for those who want to SITE the driver, for what?.If he is @ fault, then so be it, but if not, ticketing him will not bring back the dead. And what may I ask will a ghost bike and a critilce mass ride do?. Streets were originally deisgned for cars,so making bike paths as an addition or afterthought creates these tragedies. Streets need to be designed with this in mind. As i ride and drive through Portland we have alot of idiots riding around, no helemet, deliberatley weaving through traffic ( messenger\'s ), bikes with no Brakes ( thats so retro! ) etc. The accidents in the last two days are proof that a combination of cars not paying attention, cyclist not paying attention and poor bike path design is a bad combo. Cyclists AND cars use the road, so those of you who whine about the cars, get a life and cars that act as though bikes dont exist should heed unless you want to have blood on your hands.

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  • Brian October 23, 2007 at 12:22 pm

    I met Brett only once or twice when purchasing my Kona. I do remember him vividly because he left an ever lasting impression. It is heart breaking to see a live snuffed out so quickly.

    Please everyone be careful when riding on city streets, WE ARE NO MATCH FOR STEEL!

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  • V-Strom October 23, 2007 at 12:22 pm

    \"Whether you intend to insult people or not is beside the point. You continue to display a \"Daddy knows best\" attitude toward other posters and then are mystified when people don\'t respond positively.\"

    Not \'mystified\'.
    Apparently responding \'positively\' to someone who is well meaning and wanting to help is beyond your toolbox of social skills. I have not pointed blame for the cause of the incident at the cyclist or anyone else. My goal is to see fewer good lives ended in such a wasteful manner.
    If you want to show me where my \'advice\' is wrong then feel free to do so. At least the dialogue could lead to helpful ideas vs you attacking me for trying to be a positive influence. Apparently becaue I am not saying something you want to hear, like \'death to cars and those that use them\'.

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  • Stephanie October 23, 2007 at 12:25 pm

    In Seattle there is the Burke-Gillman trail that runs from Seattle to Redmond, and cyclists are totally seperate from the road. It\'s almost like an interstate for cyclists and commuters. I commuted on the trail from Redmond to Lynnwood 5 days a week and it was safe. I only had to enter traffic a few times. What if Portland created a trail similar to that? I know there is a long trail along the water in Portland, but there is nothing in SE or beyond. What if there were park and rides for cyclists? Maybe some would be the same park and ride lots that people use for commuting on the max or bus. You park and hop on the trail that would resemble something like a tree with one major trail (the trunk) and off-shoots here and there (like branches)extending to different communities. What if the community then supported cycling even further by giving discounts in some manner to people who commuted via bike to work? Maybe this is a stretch, and I know it would be expensive, but I think it could really change the city. Any thoughts?

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  • wyatt October 23, 2007 at 12:28 pm

    V-Strom,

    You came here looking for a fight with people who are grieving the VERY recent loss of one of their own. It is sick and despicable.

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  • V-Strom October 23, 2007 at 12:38 pm

    #223 wyatt

    \"You came here looking for a fight with people who are grieving the VERY recent loss of one of their own. It is sick and despicable.\"

    Please show me where I came \'looking for a fight\'. If I have done so then I apologize, but I dont think you have read my posts. I have done just exactly the opposite. I have not defended the driver. But I have also not convicted him yet either.
    I have no intention of flaming or disrespecting anyone here especially in the light of tragedy which I also feel deeply. Every one of my posts has been to dialogue how cyclists can better survive the \'mean streets\' and I have done so in a respectable manner IMHO.

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  • BURR October 23, 2007 at 12:39 pm

    @ 168 and others who have experienced similar motorist transgressions recently:

    I believe that the negligent manner in which the cops and the media have handled these two tragedies this month has emboldened other motorists to act out their anti-cyclist fantasies.

    What we really need at this moment, for sarters, is a strong statement from someone like the Mayor or Sam Adams regarding (I know it sounds a bit trite...) sharing the road safely and responsibly.

    Then we need to get to work on making these trucks safer, improving motorist and cyclist education, and redesigning or eliminating all of these death-trap bike lanes.

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  • Qwendolyn October 23, 2007 at 12:50 pm

    In response to John in post #216:

    The scenario you laid out seems very plausible.

    Before reading what you wrote, I had figured the most likely scenario was that it was a case of the truck driver not signaling until the last second.

    I don\'t think the truck driver would admit to not signaling in time. But in both scenarios he failed to yield.

    I can\'t think of any scenario in which the driver is not guilty of that.

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  • Lisa October 23, 2007 at 12:52 pm

    To I\'m Confused: No, I never have (proceeded through a red light). I wouldn\'t do this on a bike any more than I would in a car, i.e. ever. But I see plenty of other cyclists who do it, and know a couple personally. Their belief seems to be that since they can\'t trust traffic laws to keep them safe, they\'re on their own. I disagree, but I can see their point.

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  • ZEN October 23, 2007 at 1:04 pm

    No matter who\'s at fault this isn\'t the forum to be calling out a cyclist we\'ve lost(Big Diesel).

    Thoughts and respect to the family and friends of Brett

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  • idiots (again) October 23, 2007 at 1:06 pm

    encephalopath
    October 22nd, 2007 20:36
    124

    Here\'s the deal- In both cases the cycle ran into the truck, the truck did not run into the cyclist. -BASIC SPEED LAW- do not drive or ride too fast to stop or avoid other objects. Collision avoidance is the rule #1 of operating any vehicls and it supplants all other right of way rules on land, sea and air. Period. End of Story.

    ~implying that the two recent victims were to some degree responsible for their own death for not being careful enough.~

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  • Shana October 23, 2007 at 1:07 pm

    re #136: \"I recently took my USA driving test, and the whole experience was nothing short of farcical.\", \"Whereas in England.....I have friends in England who had to take their driving test five times.\" -- I have friends in the US that had to take our farcical test 5 times. They assumed they already knew the rules (since they\'ve been a passenger all their life) and didn\'t have to read the manual.

    re #156: \"Everyone please evaluate where and how you ride. Look for ways to protect yourself. Train yourself to ride defensively.\" -- I try, but I\'m hardly the best teacher and haven\'t been in enough of these bad situations to know what to prepare for. Are there any classes offered that can help people become better and safer riders? I\'ve seen them for kids, but not adults. (some of us didn\'t learn to ride until we were adults)

    re #181: \"I don\'t know what the answer is (other than sending all car and truck drivers back to school for some mandatory \"driver\'s education\" on this issue. (??) Not realistic, I know.)\" -- Why isn\'t this realistic? We already have a testing system in place at the DMV. I think repeated testing (written and driven) would do wonders. It would re-educate drivers to old laws, educate them on new laws, and serve as a reminder that driving is a privilege.

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  • akeelah October 23, 2007 at 1:16 pm

    so this whole light timing thing...

    seems kind of important. one cat sid he noticed some odd change in the light\'s timing, then another cat said he saw peeps messing with the light control box after the tragedy.

    so what happened here, am i making this out to be a bigger deal than it is? do some company lobby for the light change to protect their own interest, and is that a deciding factor?

    did they both start slowing for a red, then react to a quick two second green?

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  • brady October 23, 2007 at 1:23 pm

    To I\'m Confused: You are correct when you say that people need to be able to stop when a traffic light turns on them. However, the lights must also be timed in such a way as to reasonably allow this to happen; i.e., a 1-sec yellow light in a 45-mph zone doesn\'t cut it.

    As for proceeding thru a red light: I have done this many times in my car, while traveling thru unsafe areas (not in Oregon), after stopping and making sure there are no other vehicles around. Similarly, I do this--rarely--as necessary on a bike. Not downtown, where there is always tons of traffic, but for example at a red light on the west side of the hill (Say, Thompson Rd., West Union, TV Highway, etc.), at 6:00 am in the middle of February in the rain. Why? Because it is the best thing I can do for my safety, in that instance. When I am sitting in the middle of an intersection, motionless, I am a target, completely vulnerable to whatever comes my way... I don\'t want to be there any longer than I have to. If a car can rear-end another car through inattention, why not a bike? I don\'t really want to be on the receiving end of that. So the beliefs that Lisa\'s (227) friends have about \"being on your own\" as far as safety is concerned, resonate with me in situations such as these. I will happily break a given law 10 times out of 10, with no apologies, if by doing so I will significantly increase my own safety while diminishing no one else\'s. I\'d rather pay a ticket any day than be hit.

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  • muddog October 23, 2007 at 1:24 pm

    #229 is on the mark. The sooner we point out the mistakes the sooner someone else\'s life can be saved. right away does not mean you dont ride on defense, just because that 50,000 lb truck does not have the right of way does not mean you charge ahead full speed.

    As for those of you who think discussing this incident openly and some of us possibly finding fault in the cyclist is somehow not showing respect, please save it, you are NOT helping the dead.

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  • Alison October 23, 2007 at 1:25 pm

    I was mourning the loss of another cyclist this morning with a colleague and she said something to indicate that she didn\'t know she was supposed to yield to a cyclist in a bike lane when turning right. She\'s an educated woman, so if she doesn\'t know, probably many people do not know. When I come off the broadway bridge each morning i am very cautious because more and more people are turning right and cyclists have gained speed coming down that hill. If i slow down to let people make the right hand turn in front of me, inevitably a cyclist bombs past - it\'s not a great situation, even if the law says I can go through. My thought has been to merge left and get in line with the cars so some can turn right and I can move forward. I too think \'Right Hook\' education would be a good idea!

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  • David Dean October 23, 2007 at 1:30 pm

    Education and accountability.

    Drivers should be tested on the Oregon Bike Manual as well as the Oregon Driver\'s Guide. There shouldn\'t be a spattering of questions, there should questions on every topic and drivers should be required to answer all the questions correctly. We need cull drivers who only know 80% of the law.

    We also need data loggers in cars. We should know exactly how fast that truck was going, when he initiated his turn, and when he signaled. We need objective information to hold people accountable.

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  • encephalopath October 23, 2007 at 1:35 pm

    V-Strom 221

    If by \"trying to be a positive influence\" you mean behaving like a condescending jackass, then sure...tell us all again how we need to collect your pearls of wisdom learn to ride better.

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  • idiots (again) October 23, 2007 at 1:36 pm

    John #216

    I think your description is entirely plausable-

    I think the speed limit down there is no more than 25 or 30 MPH. There are 2 stop lights and that is a tight turn. I\'d bet the truck wasn\'t even doing 10 MPH around the corner.

    I\'d bet anything that the cyclist, however, was hauling ass down the hill- and if the truck passed him at say Overlook park, the truck driver would have not expected the cyclist to come up on him at 2 to 3 times his velocity- pretty much out of nowhere 1/2 mile later.

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  • encephalopath October 23, 2007 at 1:37 pm

    Idiot at #229

    Once again demonstrate his inability to understand basic traffic laws.

    Scary stuff.

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  • idiots (again) October 23, 2007 at 1:44 pm

    Muddog-

    I, and 400 years of Maritime law thank you :)

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  • Lisa October 23, 2007 at 1:45 pm

    Re. Alison, 234, yes, *of course* most drivers do not know this law. And I\'ll bet there are plenty of other traffic laws that are generally unknown, but ignorance of them is less frequently fatal-- in part because following common sense will allow you to follow them even if you don\'t know them.

    This is a case of a law that doesn\'t make sense, and is very hard to follow consistently even if you do know it. Humans make mistakes. Traffic laws should make it harder, not easier, to make fatal mistakes.

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  • idiots (again) October 23, 2007 at 1:47 pm

    encephalopath

    I understand it perfectly- you seem to be the one who is having the problem. Basic traffic laws say that it is your responsibility not to run into things regardless of the right of way. I\'ve managed to drive, and bike for nearly 30 years and not collide with anything.

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  • brady October 23, 2007 at 2:04 pm

    Fear not idiots (again) #241; your arrogance practically gurantees that your 30-year streak will end before long. It is not realistic to presume that any person can pilot ANY vehicle or vessel in such a manner as to be able to avoid a collision *no matter what* happens around them. Only by staying home can this be guaranteed. Driving / riding / piloting defensively is crucial, and yes, even more important than right-of-way, but it only goes so far.

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  • Qwendolyn October 23, 2007 at 2:04 pm

    in response to #237:

    Here\'s the part you don\'t get. The truck driver made a right turn FROM THE LEFT LANE.

    He cut someone off.

    Stop and think about that until it sinks in.

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  • a.O October 23, 2007 at 2:06 pm

    \"Basic traffic laws say that it is your responsibility not to run into things regardless of the right of way.\"

    Which Oregon law says this?

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  • rixtir October 23, 2007 at 2:11 pm

    Hey idiot, post 229 (sorry, Jonathan, but he named himself):

    Here\'s the deal- In both cases the cycle ran into the truck, the truck did not run into the cyclist.

    When you put that crack pipe down, you might go back and read what the eyewitness to Tracey Sparling\'s collision had to say: she was stopped beside the truck, the light changed, the truck turned right, and she hadn\'t yet started to move when the truck hit her.

    -BASIC SPEED LAW- do not drive or ride too fast to stop or avoid other objects. Collision avoidance is the rule #1 of operating any vehicls and it supplants all other right of way rules on land, sea and air. Period. End of Story.

    You mean, like not making a turn in front of another vehicle that has the right of way? Is that what you meant?

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  • rixtir October 23, 2007 at 2:16 pm

    a colleague ... said something to indicate that she didn\'t know she was supposed to yield to a cyclist in a bike lane when turning right. She\'s an educated woman, so if she doesn\'t know, probably many people do not know.

    And yet the State licenses them to drive...

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  • Lenny Anderson October 23, 2007 at 2:20 pm

    It almost seems like our police go out of their way to protect drivers from receiving citations, instead of protecting the most at risk street users(cyclists & peds) from loss of life &/or limb.
    Didn\'t I hear that in Holland if a motor vehicle driver hits a biker, the driver pays. Period?

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  • muddog October 23, 2007 at 2:24 pm

    I suggest every yo yo who seems to have the answeres as to WHY the trucks keep running over people,go spend an entire day driving 50 to 80,000 lb truck around the city all day and see if the STUPID bike laws and bike lane designs work. HAVING BIKE LANES ON THE NBLIND SIDE OF TRUCKS AND CARS IS STUPID!!!!As for RIXTIR, you sir are on the crack pipe, if I may use your childish slang. BIKES are NOT vehicles in the same sense as CARS and TRUCKS are!!, so with that said, use your brain whgen riding, ooops thats not politically correct is it!?. #231 thinks the city is covering up by messing with the control box, actually the city Uses the control box to see if the light were working properly, part of the investigation.

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  • Tbird October 23, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    Lenny- you\'re correct. I believe that law holds in most Scandinavian countries as well. I know for certain that in Holland the motorist is ALWAYS at fault when there is a negative interaction between the two ,unless it can be proven that the cyclist intentionally caused the accident. This law combined with the fact they the Politie actually enforce it, and the generally lower level of societal narcicism allow cyclists to be safe even in the few places where the bike lanes aren\'t separated.

    Educate.
    Legislate.
    Enforce.
    Separate.

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  • rixtir October 23, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    muddog, perhaps you believe that the eyewitness to the accident was wrong, then?

    Or are are you just talking out your ass? Which is it, muddog?

    By the way, it might interest you to learn some of the vehicle code before you attempt to drive again:

    801.590 “Vehicle.” “Vehicle” means any device in, upon or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a public highway and includes vehicles that are propelled or powered by any means. “Vehicle” does not include a manufactured structure. [1983 c.338 §109; 2003 c.655 §94]

    801.150 “Bicycle.” “Bicycle” means a vehicle that:

    (1) Is designed to be operated on the ground on wheels;

    (2) Has a seat or saddle for use of the rider;

    (3) Is designed to travel with not more than three wheels in contact with the ground;

    (4) Is propelled exclusively by human power; and

    (5) Has every wheel more than 14 inches in diameter or two tandem wheels either of which is more than 14 inches in diameter. [1983 c.338 §22]

    814.400 Application of vehicle laws to bicycles. (1) Every person riding a bicycle upon a public way is subject to the provisions applicable to and has the same rights and duties as the driver of any other vehicle concerning operating on highways, vehicle equipment and abandoned vehicles, except:

    (a) Those provisions which by their very nature can have no application.

    (b) When otherwise specifically provided under the vehicle code.

    (2) Subject to the provisions of subsection (1) of this section:

    (a) A bicycle is a vehicle for purposes of the vehicle code; and

    (b) When the term “vehicle” is used the term shall be deemed to be applicable to bicycles.

    (3) The provisions of the vehicle code relating to the operation of bicycles do not relieve a bicyclist or motorist from the duty to exercise due care. [1983 c.338 §697; 1985 c.16 §335]

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  • BURR October 23, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    @ 248, sorry to disappoint you, but a bicycle is a vehicle in the same sense as a truck or a car

    ORS 814.400 Application of vehicle laws to bicycles.

    (1) Every person riding a bicycle upon a public way is subject to the provisions applicable to and has the same rights and duties as the driver of any other vehicle concerning operating on highways, vehicle equipment and abandoned vehicles, except:

    (a) Those provisions which by their very nature can have no application.

    (b) When otherwise specifically provided under the vehicle code.

    (2) Subject to the provisions of subsection (1) of this section:

    (a) A bicycle is a vehicle for purposes of the vehicle code; and

    (b) When the term “vehicle” is used the term shall be deemed to be applicable to bicycles.

    (3) The provisions of the vehicle code relating to the operation of bicycles do not relieve a bicyclist or motorist from the duty to exercise due care. [1983 c.338 §697; 1985 c.16 §335]

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  • a.O October 23, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    \"BIKES are NOT vehicles in the same sense as CARS and TRUCKS are!!\"

    Wow, another driver IGNORANT OF THE LAW. I\'m starting to detect a pattern here. Willful, DEADLY ignorance.

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  • wyatt October 23, 2007 at 2:36 pm

    Muddog said:

    \"As i ride and drive through Portland we have alot of idiots riding around, no helemet, deliberatley weaving through traffic ( messenger\'s ), bikes with no Brakes ( thats so retro! ) etc. The accidents in the last two days are proof that a combination of cars not paying attention, cyclist not paying attention and poor bike path design is a bad combo.\"

    And in the last two bike fatalities neither cyclist was acting in the manner as you described above.

    You then said (while apparently blowing several gaskets):

    \"...go spend an entire day driving 50 to 80,000 lb truck around the city all day and see if the STUPID bike laws and bike lane designs work.\"

    Drivers of vehicles that large need to be far more cautious and aware as they can wreak more damage than any other vehicle on the road. I.E. not speeding past a cyclist on the left and then making a sharp right turn. Did you somehow miss that part?

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  • rixtir October 23, 2007 at 2:36 pm

    Wow, another driver IGNORANT OF THE LAW. I\'m starting to detect a pattern here. Willful, DEADLY ignorance.

    What are the odds.

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  • Lisa October 23, 2007 at 2:37 pm

    I might venture that if we want to be viewed as vehicles we need to operate our bikes as if they were vehicles, e.g. obey traffic signals, signal our intentions, maintain a speed that allows quick stopping, avoid unnecessarily obstructing other vehicles, and generally ride as if we are on the road for transportation, not sport.

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  • tonyt October 23, 2007 at 2:40 pm

    Alison #243,

    And as long as the cops continue to not cite drivers who are breaking this law, this type of ignorance will reign.

    Hey Idiots and muddog. Certainly everyone needs to heed the laws of physics first and foremost.

    But in order to avoid living in a Mad Max world where might makes right, we are also a society of laws. When those laws are broken, there should be punishment, not excuses.

    Idiots #99

    \"Regardless of the position of the bike- the truck was in front and made a perfectly legal and reasonable turn. \"

    You could not be more wrong. Say what you\'d like, about what should be or what cyclists need to do; the law is the law and the truck driver blew it.

    I find it curious and quite telling that you point so little (actually none as far as I can tell) of your plentiful righteous indignation at the driver who broke the law and the cops who didn\'t cite him.

    Tempering your sense of certainty with a bit of decency might be in order.

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  • john October 23, 2007 at 2:48 pm

    #237,
    No I don\'t think the cyclist was \"hauling ass\" down the hill. I bet the truck hit maybe 30 to 35 and slowed fast to 5 to 10 before turning right. I bet Brett never went over 25 mph.

    I think Brett was Baited and Hooked, not purposely, but nonetheless. I think this is the only way an expert cyclist could have been fooled. They passed Brett according to Oregonian at the top of the hill, this means just a couple hundred yards up ! So Brett for sure was thinking OK they obviously know I am here, they just passed me. As I would have been thinking too. And I have the right of way being in the bike lane. So the truck brakes hard, so keeps straight, transfers moment/loading the front wheels, waits, waits,(OK speed is right and correct position) then cranks the wheel hard to make the sharp turn.

    The having just been passed (1), the truck hesitating to turn(2), that he was NOT in a blind spot(3) (at this moment and had not been yet!), the being in the bike lane and having the right of way as such is our current law(4)... These FOUR things BAITED Brett into thinking the truck had saw him and was waiting for him. I highly highly doubt Brett was going over 25 mph. But the timing was tragic, meaning the truck turned hard right in front of Brett. If any witness stated that Brett was going fast, way to fast or any such crap as that, its because its an optical illusion, when something is stationary, and something goes by close, the speed always appears greater than actual.

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  • Laatste Ronde » RIP Brett Jarolimek October 23, 2007 at 2:52 pm

    [...] Bikeportland.org reporting of the accident [...]

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  • Phil Hanson (aka Pedalphile) October 23, 2007 at 2:59 pm

    In reading through the many posts on this thread, I see numerous calls for more laws, better laws, harsher punishments, etc., so I\'m going to say this three times (once for Tracey Sparling, once for Brett Jarolimek, and once for the next cyclist that\'s about to occupy space inside the turning radius of a large truck): Laws do not keep you safe! Laws do not keep you safe! Laws do not keep you safe!

    Only a heightened sense of awareness and one\'s response to visual cues emanating from one\'s immediate environment can raise one\'s relative safety level, but not even then to 100%. We live in a dangerous world, and life comes with inherent risks. It\'s up to us, as individuals, to decide which risks are personally acceptable--and which are not.

    Aside from providing employment for lawyers, laws serve several useful functions in civil society. They establish guidelines for citizens to follow; they provide a means of assessing blame, fault, or culpability; and they determine how, when, where, and to what extent transgressors are punished. Laws do nothing to deter willful or inadvertent lawbreakers, they only make it possible to deal with lawbreaking\'s aftermath.

    Did traffic laws keep Brett and Stacey safe? No, they did not! Will those same laws bring Brett and Stacey back? No, they will not! Will stricter laws and harsher punishments prevent tragedies such as these from happening in the future? Once again, the answer is no.

    What will prevent these types of senseless deaths is for cyclists to take a proactive stance in regard to their own safety and to gain situational awareness, particularly where trucks are concerned. A safe cyclist is NOT oblivious to a truck\'s brake lights, turn signals, changes in speed, or the truck\'s attitude in relation to the roadway, all of which can signal an intent to turn.

    By heeding these visual cues (and many others) your chances of living to see another day go up dramatically. And always ask yourself if adhering to the right-of-way is worth your life.

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  • wyatt October 23, 2007 at 3:00 pm

    John, your description seems entirely plausible as I have personally witnessed trucks doing this. And have almost taken the bait myself. Except that in almost all instances the truck driver had his right indicator on. It is possible that Brett missed seeing the indicator, but wouldn\'t it have been easy to see being that it\'s darker under the overpass?

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  • DK October 23, 2007 at 3:02 pm

    And if he was on (or decided to use ) the sidewalk, he would have had the crossing green. And if the truck would have still got him, Brett would have still been held accountable in some way...as usual for all cyclists. Just can\'t win against the engines.

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  • muddog October 23, 2007 at 3:06 pm

    Tony T. No One is arguing if laws are broken people should be held accountable, BUT it is SO typical of the bike community to assume we live in a mad max world and automatically blame the Truck driver, CLEARLY there is alot of ambiguity with regrards to the accident(s). NONE OF US knows how fast the cyclist was going,to say he was going 25, 35, what ever is the claim to have the abilty to see back into the past. People who keep using the word BAITED are spinning this to no end. No ONE was baited, the cyclists thought the truck saw him and the truck mistakenly assumed the rider was farther back. PDX is the bets biking city BUT due to the large amount of riders we are more prone ot have accidents.

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  • msgman October 23, 2007 at 3:13 pm

    This is tragic for all involved, most especially Brett and his family. So let\'s not make it us (cyclists) against them (motorists). I drive a car and ride a bike (a lot). Let\'s not create any more anger (or worse yet hate) than there already is. We are all on the roads (and this planet) together and we need to take care of each other. Don\'t forget that.

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  • Qwendolyn October 23, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    in response to #260:

    That doesn\'t even make sense. If he hadn\'t seen the truck\'s turn signal then he would have wondered why the truck was almost stopping in the middle of the road.

    John\'s point (correct me if I\'m wrong, John) was that the cyclist saw the truck slowing, saw the truck\'s turn signal and thought that the truck was waiting for him to pass.

    Which, by the way, is exactly what the goddamn law requires.

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  • rixtir October 23, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    muddog, do you think that \"believing\" the rider is farther back gives the driver a legal right to turn?

    You know, as opposed to looking before he turns?

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  • V-Strom October 23, 2007 at 3:18 pm

    #236
    \"If by \"trying to be a positive influence\" you mean behaving like a condescending jackass, then sure...tell us all again how we need to collect your pearls of wisdom learn to ride better.\"

    I am the \'jackass\'? Sorry you found a way to construe my comments as condescending when in fact I was only trying to be non confrontational and understanding of the pain WE all are feeling while trying to offer my perspective on staying safe. My mistake I suppose. I thought thats what forums like this are all about. Guess thats one of the dangers of communicating in a forum like this.
    In any case dude, you got a lotta hate. Hope you have a constructive way of letting off some steam other than attacking well meaning folks who post here.

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  • wyatt October 23, 2007 at 3:20 pm

    Qwendolyn,

    My point was that it is possible that the truck didn\'t have his turn signal on.

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  • idiots October 23, 2007 at 3:20 pm

    Well said muddog. Accidents are usually the result of incorrect assumptions rather than intentional or even negligent acts.

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  • encephalopath October 23, 2007 at 3:21 pm

    Baited and hooked.

    It would be interesting the know the position of the SUV as the truck signaled. The downhill turn is a slight left hander.

    If Brett was next to or slightly behind the SUV, his first view of the braking and signaling truck may have come only after the SUV braked and revealed a view of the truck in front of him.

    Makes me shudder to imagine that situation.

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  • muddog October 23, 2007 at 3:23 pm

    rixtir.

    How do you know the truck didnt look?.
    As for Qwendolyn, if breaking the law is an issue with you I suggest you point the same crtisim @ cyclists, they are some of the worst law breakers around.

    Phil Hanson hit it on the head. We riders need to be the pro active bunch, Like I said earlier, just because you have the right of way does not mean you barn storm your way down the street.

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  • idiots October 23, 2007 at 3:26 pm

    a.O # 244

    let google be your guide- try \"Oregon Basic Speed Law\" it\'s all over the place- as well as on page 1 of the drivers manual section on \"speed limits\"

    The rest of you are so hung up on the right of way issue that it seems the endorphins released from cycling have clouded your ability to reason. Sorry for that.

    I\'m pretty much done with this farce- many of you would do well to actually read the vehicle code, and maybe take a course in rhetoric- so many fallacies to even begin to address.

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  • encephalopath October 23, 2007 at 3:27 pm

    muddog #268

    \"breaking the law is an issue with you I suggest you point the same crtisim @ cyclists, they are some of the worst law breakers around.\"

    That very nice and all, but this situation doesn\'t involve a law breaking cyclist. It involves a law breaking truck driver.

    When a law breaking cyclist is killed, we can talk about your subject.

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  • idiots October 23, 2007 at 3:29 pm

    #268

    Actually the southbound Interstate intersection in question is at the apex of a \"right hander\".

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&time=&date=&ttype=&q=97225&ie=UTF8&ll=45.544681,-122.677803&spn=0.009813,0.020084&z=16&om=1

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  • rixtir October 23, 2007 at 3:30 pm

    muddog, if your assertion is correct-- that the truck driver \"assumed\" the cyclist was farther back-- then it\'s axiomatic that the tuck driver didn\'t actually look.

    Can\'t have it both ways, muddog.

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  • Qwendolyn October 23, 2007 at 3:31 pm

    right, but in John\'s scenario the truck slowed to almost stopping.

    So if the truck does not have its signal on, the experienced cyclist would have wondered why the truck was slowing and would have behaved extremely cautiously.

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  • encephalopath October 23, 2007 at 3:39 pm

    V-Strom #265

    \"I was only trying to be non confrontational and understanding of the pain WE all are feeling...\"

    Trying and failing.

    \"In any case dude, you got a lotta hate. Hope you have a constructive way of letting off some steam other than attacking well meaning folks who post here.\"

    Thanks for the therapy session. Do you have special online rates for that?

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  • wyatt October 23, 2007 at 3:44 pm

    Qwendolyn,

    That\'s true. So if the truck did swing out to the left a little bit while slowing the truck\'s speed considerably, the driver would have had time to check his mirror before turning right.

    I can envision the situation, but it is still just speculation. Too much speculation. However, what is true is that the driver did not yield right-of-way.

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  • true October 23, 2007 at 3:47 pm

    Those of you who seek out posts such as this and make caustic, hateful, inciting remarks, offensive to the other readers and degrading to yourselves, should be ashamed. To hide behind the anonymity of the web to spew vitriol against a recently deceased human being, be it cyclist or driver, soldier or child, skydiver or skateboarder, or any victim of such a horrible event as this, is to display a sad and telling sign of a sickness within you. Please find a way to take your anger out on yourselves. Let the mourners mourn and those attempting to carry on a constructive conversation continue. You are an embarrassment.

    Rest in peace Brett Jarolimek.

    Be careful out there.

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  • Jeremy October 23, 2007 at 3:50 pm

    To John post 143, those trucks in fact do NOT stop on a dime at either highway or city speeds. I\'ve been in big rigs and garbage trucks with
    well-experienced drivers. It just is not possible.
    to Qwendolyn post 263, so regardless of how far a cyclist is behind us we are to let them just go by? I don\'t think so. If the
    cyclist was obviously there then yes, but he was going fast down the hill, really he should have slowed down or at least not made the
    assumption that he may have made.
    to rixtir post 264, hopefully you understand just how hard it can be to determine how fast a cyclist is going, since he passed the cyclist
    at the top of the hill, it would seem reasonable to expect that he be well behind the truck, and having to rely on mirrors becuase of the
    nature of what he was driving would make it that much tougher.
    Wyatt, post 277, as sharp as that turn is, he would probably have to swing out a bit, he may have been able to look at the mirror, but
    swinging left would in practice be part of the turn and the mirrors would be blocked, keeping him from seeing well enough to check the mirrors.

    I\'m sure the truck driver is going through hell right now, even if it really is not even his own fault.
    Those riding need to remember that they are very hard to see, that makes it all the harder to judge how
    fast they are going, especially when all someone has to rely on is their mirrors. I love riding, but
    it requires caution and defensive riding everywhere I\'ve been. I have been hit once by a car myself,
    it was my own lack of attemtion/defensive riding that made it happen. Bike lanes right along regular
    traffic lanes is a recipe for disaster, not to mention the idiots that don\'t use them and ride in
    the middle of the lanes asking to get hurt or worse. I see that happen everytime I am downtown,
    along with idiots running intersections and stop signs, and they get pissed at me, cursing and using the
    middle finger like I would be at fault. I know this isn\'t the typical rider, but the \"militant\" ones need to
    wise up. Laws and citations aren\'t going to take care of the problem. Really what would take care of it
    would be to separate bikes and cars as much as possible. Good luck with that in Portland.

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  • idiots October 23, 2007 at 3:52 pm

    My final word:

    The intersection is more than a 90 degree right turn for the truck- I believe his speed was

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  • rixtir October 23, 2007 at 4:01 pm

    rixtir post 264, hopefully you understand just how hard it can be to determine how fast a cyclist is going, since he passed the cyclist at the top of the hill, it would seem reasonable to expect that he be well behind the truck, and having to rely on mirrors becuase of the nature of what he was driving would make it that much tougher.

    Jeremy, drivers routinely make the mistake of assuming that a bicycle is a slow-moving vehicle. It\'s why they try to push us off the road when they\'re behind us, and it\'s why they assume that they can turn in front of us, whether they\'re making a left turn at an intersection, or right hooking us a millisecond after passing us.

    Keeping a proper lookout is a legal duty, and part of that duty requires that the driver make proper assessments about the distance and speed of others on the road. While that may be a sometimes difficult task, it\'s part of the responsibility of driving, and can\'t just be shrugged off because it\'s sometimes difficult.

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  • 180mm DaN October 23, 2007 at 4:05 pm

    I ride this hill 5-days a week - I\'ve been in and seen intense close-calls here - The right turn is an uncommon event at this intersection based on six years of riding the hill.

    However, it happens. And it\'s a sucker punch turn because a bike can easily exceed 30mph down the hill.

    Last week, I line of 7-8 vehicles were stopped at the light (where the turn is). The middle vehicle (long pick-up) turned right without a signal (wasn\'t on stopped or moving). Fortunately, I was watching this at stand still at the top of the hill (another story why).

    A bad set of coincidences and assumptions happened Monday.

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  • Big Diesel October 23, 2007 at 4:07 pm

    Yep.... Truck drivers go out each day looking to hurt or kill a cyclist.... (eye roll, eye roll)

    Why don\'t some of you cyclists come out and ride with a truck to see what it is really like out there. Maybe then the cycling community will see the light.

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  • Jeremy October 23, 2007 at 4:19 pm

    Big diesel, you are so right. I\'ve gone along and it is extremely tough for the truck drivers.

    To rixtir, keeping a lookout is the responsibility of both the driver and the cyclist. You are right that many times drivers assume bicycles are slow-moving, for the most part that is what they are from experience. If a bicycle is going fast and unable to stop quicly enough like seems to be the case here, it is reckless.

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  • Tbird October 23, 2007 at 4:22 pm

    Sure Big D. I\'m game. When can we go out for my driving lesson?
    Then you can come out and ride a bike around with all the self involved cell phone yacking fools that think personal responsibility stops at the bumper.

    The facts are 90% of the people behnd the wheel are sure that every one else is in THIER way. Most don\'t even know the basic rules they learned to get the license in the first place, and after several years of progressively self involved behavior behind the wheel they are an accident waiting to happen.

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  • NoPo guy October 23, 2007 at 4:27 pm

    Good comment 180mm DaN

    You\'re right- it\'s a terribly dangerous intersection. Almost a 180 turn onto greeley for S-bound trucks who have to stop or swing wide to make it. On the other hand at 30 MPH (that\'s getting close to 50 feet per second on the bike.) 5 seconds is 1/2 way to Overlook Park at the top of the hill- so you have a bike going oh, 20 times the southbound velocity of the truck? I can see that he never would have seen the cyclist around the bend and up the hill.

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  • rixtir October 23, 2007 at 4:30 pm

    Jeremy, of course keeping a proper lookout is the responsibility of every vehicle operator.

    However, I disagree that if a bicycle is unable to stop quickly enough, that it is \"reckless.\" First, \"reckless\" has a specific meaning within the law that does not apply here (it means gross negligence-- that the vehicle operator knew the likely consequences of the action, and acted in reckless disregard of those consequences).

    Second, and more to the point, any vehicle\'s ability to stop will be a function of the vehicle\'s speed, the brakes it is equipped with, and the distance of the object or person it is trying to avoid colliding with. Yes, if a vehicle is speeding, it will take a longer distance to stop. You are completely discounting another scenario, however-- if the truck pulled out in front of the cyclist at a very close distance, it would also be impossble for the cyclist to stop quickly enough.

    Now let me ask you a question. If the truck driver had been driving in observance of the basic speed law, and the cyclist had turned across his lane at so close a distance that he was unable to stop, would you blame the truck driver for \"speeding,\" or would you blame the cyclist for failure to yield?

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  • trucker October 23, 2007 at 4:54 pm

    ok wow i think people have really lost site of the fact someone has died. Blame be on whoever you choose. Doesnt really matter now does it? Driver will not be cited, cyclist will clearly not be cited. The fact still remains that cyclist are not following all the laws thay are encumbered by nor are other road users. One poster had it right, keep cruching on your bike lane as it will make every driver on the road bow down to you as you clearly move slower in normal level grounded traffic and YOU will pay the ultimate price. Yeah if at fault the driver might pay a fine do some time big deal you will be seriously hurt or dead. Fair trade? Keep playing with fire. And as for today i drove my garbage truck around town on extra alert for bikers backlash.
    Guess what i found it.

    Got a free milk wash this morning by a group of bikers who pulled off the curb infront of me as i started to proceed through a green light after waiting on a red. Yeah they threw cartons of milk at my windshield.

    Next i drove through the intersection of yesterdays unfortunate accident and was pelted by stoned as i drove through by about 50 - 60 bikers.

    Keep this kind of thing up and i promise that cyclist will become the black sheep of portland. Oh by the way any one of those milkers from today wanna talk outside my truck just ask i will be glad to step out cowerds.

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  • Antonio Gramsci October 23, 2007 at 4:56 pm

    Once again, regardless what anyone here \"thinks motorists SHOULD do,\" be QUITE CERTAIN about what you MUST DO: Stay out of the path of a right turning vehicle if you are headed straight!! Take the thru-traffic lanes, people! Please! Even if a motorist doesn\'t signal, anytime you are in a position where a motor vehicle could exit the roadway by turning right, position yourself in a thru-traffic lane that will not put your path and that of the exiting vehicle at intersecting angles!

    This notably includes one of the most popular bike routes in the city: The improperly striped bike lane at the exit to SE McLaughlin Blvd on the eastbound span of the Hawthorne Bridge!

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  • encephalopath October 23, 2007 at 5:08 pm

    #287

    \"Stay out of the path of a right turning vehicle if you are headed straight!! Take the thru-traffic lanes, people!\"

    You think Kruger\'s boy aren\'t going to ticket you for that?

    Oregon Bicycling Laws

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Oregon Revised Statutes

    Chapter 814 - Bicycles

    814.400 Application of vehicle laws to bicycles.

    814.405 Status of electric assisted bicycle.

    814.410 Unsafe operation of bicycle on sidewalk.

    814.420 Failure to use bicycle lane or path.

    814.430 Improper use of lanes.

    814.440 Failure to signal turn.

    814.450 Unlawful load on bicycle.

    814.460 Unlawful passengers on bicycle.

    814.470 Failure to use bicycle seat.

    814.480 Clinging to another vehicle.

    814.484 Meaning of “bicycle” and “operating or riding on a highway.”

    814.485 Failure to wear protective headgear.

    814.486 Endangering bicycle operator or passenger.

    814.487 Exemptions from protective headgear requirements.

    814.488 Citations for failure to wear protective headgear.

    814.489 Use of evidence of lack of protective headgear on bicyclist.

    Other Statutes

    801.150 Definition of “Bicycle.”

    811.395 Appropriate signals for stopping, turning, changing lanes and decelerating.

    811.400 Failure to use appropriate signal for turn, lane change, stop or exit from roundabout; penalty.

    811.425 Failure of slower driver to yield to overtaking vehicle.

    815.052 Rules establishing standards for protective headgear.

    815.281 Selling noncomplying bicycle headgear; renting or leasing bicycle without having approved headgear available.

    Resources by Ray Thomas, Swanson Thomas and Coon

    Pedal Power - a Legal Guide for Oregon Bicyclists

    Other Bicycling Articles

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    814.400 Application of vehicle laws to bicycles.

    (1) Every person riding a bicycle upon a public way is subject to the provisions applicable to and has the same rights and duties as the driver of any other vehicle concerning operating on highways, vehicle equipment and abandoned vehicles, except:
    (a) Those provisions which by their very nature can have no application.
    (b) When otherwise specifically provided under the vehicle code.

    (2) Subject to the provisions of subsection (1) of this section:
    (a) A bicycle is a vehicle for purposes of the vehicle code; and
    (b) When the term “vehicle” is used the term shall be deemed to be applicable to bicycles.

    (3) The provisions of the vehicle code relating to the operation of bicycles do not relieve a bicyclist or motorist from the duty to exercise due care.
    Top of Page

    814.405 Status of electric assisted bicycle.

    An electric assisted bicycle shall be considered a bicycle, rather than a motor vehicle, for purposes of the Oregon Vehicle Code, except when otherwise specifically provided by statute.
    Top of Page

    814.410 Unsafe operation of bicycle on sidewalk; penalty.

    (1) A person commits the offense of unsafe operation of a bicycle on a sidewalk if the person does any of the following:
    (a) Operates the bicycle so as to suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and move into the path of a vehicle that is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.
    (b) Operates a bicycle upon a sidewalk and does not give an audible warning before overtaking and passing a pedestrian and does not yield the right of way to all pedestrians on the sidewalk.
    (c) Operates a bicycle on a sidewalk in a careless manner that endangers or would be likely to endanger any person or property.
    (d) Operates the bicycle at a speed greater than an ordinary walk when approaching or entering a crosswalk, approaching or crossing a driveway or crossing a curb cut or pedestrian ramp and a motor vehicle is approaching the crosswalk, driveway, curb cut or pedestrian ramp. This paragraph does not require reduced speeds for bicycles at places on sidewalks or other pedestrian ways other than places where the path for pedestrians or bicycle traffic approaches or crosses that for motor vehicle traffic.
    (e) Operates an electric assisted bicycle on a sidewalk.

    (2) Except as otherwise specifically provided by law, a bicyclist on a sidewalk or in a crosswalk has the same rights and duties as a pedestrian on a sidewalk or in a crosswalk.

    (3) The offense described in this section, unsafe operation of a bicycle on a sidewalk, is a Class D traffic violation.
    Top of Page

    814.420 Failure to use bicycle lane or path; exceptions; penalty.

    (1) Except as provided in subsections (2) and (3) of this section, a person commits the offense of failure to use a bicycle lane or path if the person operates a bicycle on any portion of a roadway that is not a bicycle lane or bicycle path when a bicycle lane or bicycle path is adjacent to or near the roadway.

    (2) A person is not required to comply with this section unless the state or local authority with jurisdiction over the roadway finds, after public hearing, that the bicycle lane or bicycle path is suitable for safe bicycle use at reasonable rates of speed.

    (3) A person is not in violation of the offense under this section if the person is able to safely move out of the bicycle lane or path for the purpose of:
    (a) Overtaking and passing another bicycle, a vehicle or a pedestrian that is in the bicycle lane or path and passage cannot safely be made in the lane or path.
    (b) Preparing to execute a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
    (c) Avoiding debris or other hazardous conditions.
    (d) Preparing to execute a right turn where a right turn is authorized.
    (e) Continuing straight at an intersection where the bicycle lane or path is to the right of a lane from which a motor vehicle must turn right.

    (4) The offense described in this section, failure to use a bicycle lane or path, is a Class D traffic violation.

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  • encephalopath October 23, 2007 at 5:09 pm

    sorry my copy grabbed too much... I was only trying to get the last one 814.420.

    Teach me to click and drag.

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  • Drew October 23, 2007 at 5:17 pm

    It\'s sad that this rider was killed. But everyone needs to look out for each other. Come to the corner of Broadway and Flint. I\'d say 1 out of 20 people on bikes stop at the stop sign. The rest just fly through like they are above the law. They should be ticketed more often as well as drivers that fail to yield. Would it not solve the probelm in busy intersections to make all lanes a merge into through traffic or just make all bikes and vehicles make a complete stop before turning.

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  • BURR October 23, 2007 at 5:19 pm

    \"Bike lanes right along regular
    traffic lanes is a recipe for disaster, not to mention the idiots that don\'t use them and ride in the middle of the lanes asking to get hurt or worse.\"

    Sorry, Jeremy, but you can\'t have it both ways, cyclists are going to be either in the bike lane or in one of the conventional lanes, not on the sidewalk or \'somewhere else\'.

    Bottom line, it is the motorists\' responsibility to drive cautiously around vulnerable road users.

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  • Antonio Gramsci October 23, 2007 at 5:19 pm

    \"(3) A person is not in violation of the offense under this section if the person is able to safely move out of the bicycle lane or path for the purpose of:
    ...
    (e) Continuing straight at an intersection where the bicycle lane or path is to the right of a lane from which a motor vehicle must turn right.\"

    \'Nuff said.

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  • I'm Confugsed October 23, 2007 at 5:20 pm

    Qwendolyn:

    Where are you getting this statement that the driver turned from the left lane? That\'s not in any of the reports. That sounds made up.

    Regardless, it seems that everyone agrees that both the truck AND the SUV passed the cyclist, right?

    If that\'s the case and if the truck made a sudden screeching stop to throw an unsignaled right turn, why didn\'t the SUV crash into it? Or why didn\'t the SUV swerve madly into oncoming traffic to avoid this sudden slamming on of brakes?

    Probably because the SUV driver SAW the signal.

    I don\'t think it\'s at all fair to continue insisting that the truck driver (a) suddenly slowed, or (b) turned from some other lane, or (c) failed to signal since the driver of the SUV obviously wasn\'t confused.

    By the way, to all of you call a sudden turning \"bait and hook\": the fact that you have a phrase for it that conjures up deliberate attempts by drivers to take out unwary cyclists tells me a great deal about who\'s at fault in the current cyclist versus drivers war.

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  • Jerry October 23, 2007 at 5:29 pm

    Big Diesel~

    Many in the biking community have had the chance to drive trucks and do know what it\'s like. Having been a truck driver and dispatcher for many years, I\'ve met truckers who drive their rigs like sports cars and some drivers who have told me that they would take out a bicyclists if they ever had the opportunity.

    Driving a truck is dangerous, and that is why it takes extra training and extra care to drive a truck. If the bike had cut off the truck, then the fault would be on the bike. This fatality sounds like the truck driver is at fault. He was not aware of who was on the road around him and he made a mistake. The truck driver was technically at fault. He was inattentive and he missed something, and he killed someone. Sure, the truck is big, but by law the driver is required to have the training and the equipment, like proper mirrors, to drive that vehicle in a safe manner, and that means checking any blind spot if you don\'t know what is there.

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  • rixtir October 23, 2007 at 6:13 pm

    Jerry, you raise an important point. We all have a duty to exercise due care on the road.

    Because of the inherent danger in such massive vehicles sharing the road with the rest of us, a commercial driver has a higher duty of care than the average person. This higher duty of care is common in many professions-- law and medicine, for example-- and means that commercial drivers have a legal duty to be exercise more care than the average person is legally bound to do.

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  • rixtir October 23, 2007 at 6:14 pm

    Where are you getting this statement that the driver turned from the left lane? That\'s not in any of the reports. That sounds made up.

    It\'s in the police report-- the driver turned right from a lane to the left of the cyclist\'s lane.

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  • I'm Confused October 23, 2007 at 6:20 pm

    ... although less so now.

    Thanks rixtir for the clarification. I was reading that as trying to say that the truck driver, being in the right lane, then went into the left lane before making the right turn (you know, making one of those big long tracker trailer wide swinging turns).

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  • Passing on the right... October 23, 2007 at 6:30 pm

    ...is part of the problem. Cyclists are allowed to use the bike lane and pass on the right. Motor vehicles aren\'t allowed to use the bike lane to turn right.

    Throw those two together. And it\'s another recipe for disaster.

    Can a driver check their mirror, see that it is clear and then return their attention to the road to turn right, only to have a bicyclist moving at 20 mph then move beside the vehicle in the bicycle lane?

    Yes it can happen.

    Can a driver misjudge the speed of a cyclist upon passing, check their mirror, but not their blind spot and pull into the cyclist to turn right?

    Yes it can happen.

    But make everyone have the same set of laws like No passing on the right, and you have to move as far right at possible to make a right turn, and maybe you reduce the risk.

    It seems like the last two tragedies are pointing out the problems of trying to segregate the same piece of roadway rather than sharing the roadway.

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  • Anonymous October 23, 2007 at 6:30 pm

    #293 Antonio Gramsci

    \"(e) Continuing straight at an intersection where the bicycle lane or path is to the right of a lane from which a motor vehicle MUST turn right.\"

    Must turn right means a turn lane.

    How much \'nuff is \'nuff? Help me out here...

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  • encephalopath October 23, 2007 at 6:32 pm

    #293 Antonio Gramsci

    \"(e) Continuing straight at an intersection where the bicycle lane or path is to the right of a lane from which a motor vehicle MUST turn right.\"

    Must turn right means a turn lane.

    How much \'nuff is \'nuff? Help me out here...

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  • a.O October 23, 2007 at 6:40 pm

    \"Why don\'t some of you cyclists come out and ride with a truck to see what it is really like out there.\"

    Even though I\'ve driven a truck plenty, I\'ll ride along if you will ride a bicycle with me through downtown Portland at 5pm on a weekday. I f-in dare ya.

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  • Bujerbiker October 23, 2007 at 7:05 pm

    when ever, what ever, the bicyclist always will get the short end of the stick. the auto-empire owns the media, the police and the consciousness of the people of america. Bicyclists, the laws of the road are written from an auto empire paradigm, your only obligation is to obey the rules of the road that keep you safe and only you know what that means in any given situation. Peace and Bikespeed.

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  • Antonio Gramsci October 23, 2007 at 7:10 pm

    And there is also this:
    ...
    (c) Avoiding debris or other hazardous conditions.

    But look, the bottom line is this: would you rather be dead and mourned at your funeral by all who knew you as a lawabiding and well-liked former cyclist, or explaining to a judge why the cop improperly gave you a ticket?

    Yes, plenty of cops are ignorant jerks who\'ve never ridden a bike in their lives, and don\'t really even know the law as it applies to bikes, much less how to exercise their (enormous) discretion in a way that promotes safety (as opposed to prejudice against nonmotorists). But that is a far smaller hazard than a collision with a motor vehicle.

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  • Jeremy October 23, 2007 at 7:24 pm

    Rixtir, to answer your question, if a bicycle would have turned in front of the truck from the left, the bicycle would have been somewhere on the road he/she does not belong.
    I would not accuse the truck driver of speeding. Though bicycles are subject to the same rules of the road, often they are unsafe to operate at the higher speeds that
    motor vehicles can operate at.
    I am not accusing the cyclist of speeding, even though it is possible given the area. What I meant to say was that the cyclist seems to have been going faster than
    was safe for what he was riding and how it was equipped. I might call it reckless, but I did not mean it \"legally\" I meant that it seems the rider was not using common
    sense or was maybe overconfident/careless. I understand the legal definition, and within that I would not call it reckless. Still there is the issue that the bicycle was passed
    at the top of the hill, though I do not know how far ahead the garbage truck got, the bicycle should have been behind that truck when he applied the brakes and used the turn
    signal. If not, then he was going over the speed limit or not paying attention to what the truck was doing.
    I have ridden at speeds that were unsafe for a bicycle when I was younger, at times going over the speed limit. It really isn\'t hard to do when going downhill.

    Rixtir, you are correct in your post that commercial drivers are to exercise more care, as a general rule they do, especially since it is their livelihood on the line. Getting
    fired from a job is tough enough, but something like this on a person\'s record can make them unemployable. So they are carefully scrutinized and investigations are extremely
    thorough.

    BURR, maybe you are confused, I was referring to those that I have seen that do not use bike lanes when they are there. They are really loooking for trouble. Still, bike lanes only
    offer protection under the law, which unfortunately is not enough, no matter who is at fault. I am trying to have nothing both ways, the reality is that the situation puts lives at risk.
    I really wish this issue didn\'t have to come up because of someone losing their life. You are right that it is a motorist\'s responsibility to drive safely around, that is mostly what
    motorists deal with and is simple enough. It\'s more complicated situations like these ones involving the bicyclists and trucks.

    I have been in both positions, so I can understand both sides at least fairly well, at least in my opinion. I have also been involved in collisions with a car and bicycle, both as a bicyclist and as a driver.
    I am definitely sorry to those who suffer from the loss of Brett\'s life. It really is a tragedy.

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  • tracy October 23, 2007 at 7:24 pm

    Wouldn\'t a law making it illegal to pass a cyclist within a certain distance of making a right turn help prevent some of this? Obviously this assumes folks would follow the law, which is a big leap, but it makes a lot more sense than our current system, or California\'s method, both of which put the cyclist behind you. Personally, as a driver, if I\'m turning right I\'ll just slow and let the cyclist keep going until he/she is past my turn. It\'s really not that tough to do. But then I don\'t have a lot to prove as a driver.

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  • disturbed October 23, 2007 at 7:30 pm

    As tragic as this is and what should be in the conscience of all cyclists and drivers (if not, at least the garbage company who was involved) so soon after the incident, I witnessed, this morning, a driver from the same garbage company come to a stop at the base of the broadway bridge, turning right in his right hand turn lane and bikes stopped in the bike lane to his left - yelling out his window that he is making a right hand turn, mocking the cyclists, belittling the incident but maybe even worse, providing evidence the chasm between riders and those that feel they own the road is deep.

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  • Qwendolyn October 23, 2007 at 8:07 pm

    In post #301:

    \" to answer your question, if a bicycle would have turned in front of the truck from the left, the bicycle would have been somewhere on the road he/she does not belong.\"

    That\'s a huge cop-out.

    Sorry, the correct answer was:

    Anytime a vehicle makes a right turn across an adjacent lane of traffic (a lane of traffic to the right of them,) they are behaving extremely dangerously.

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  • Antonio Gramsci October 23, 2007 at 8:07 pm

    Jeremy:
    You are definitely confused:
    Bike lanes are painted lines. They do NOT confer any sort of protection at all, except possibly a false, ie psychological, one. And in fact, quite often they are poorly thought out and encourage novice cyclists to position themselves in dangerous areas of the roadway that expose them to the \"right hook\" phenomenon. But it sounds like that is not exactly what transpired in this case.

    The bottom line is, regardless of whether a line of paint has been laid down and designated as a \"bike lane\" or no, slower moving traffic should generally keep to the right on a two way street, or to the right or left on a one way street, and all vehicles should position themselves in that portion of the roadway closest to their intended direction of travel. These commonsense rules have been validated by several generations of experience as well as accident statistics broken down by categories, which consistently show that the great majority of accidents occur in situations where the trajectories of two vehicles intersect.

    If the cyclist was following these simple principles but did not have enough time to avoid the truck suddenly making a wide turn, there is scarcely much more he could do to avoid such an accident. Whether he was going \"too fast\" is a speculative and tendentious judgment at this point. I think it\'s more likely that the roadway there, from all people have said about it, really needs some reengineering. One cannot always ride slow enough to anticipate and thereby avoid every roadway hazard that could present itself. And even then, there are some hazards (eg, fast merging traffic) that would be EXACERBATED by riding slowly.

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  • rixtir October 23, 2007 at 8:09 pm

    Rixtir, to answer your question, if a bicycle would have turned in front of the truck from the left, the bicycle would have been somewhere on the road he/she does not belong.

    Well, let\'s put them where they belong then.

    The truck driver is proceeding straight through an intersection, the cyclist is coming from the opposite direction, and is in the left turn lane, preparing to turn left. The truck driver is observing the basic speed law. As the truck driver approaches, the cyclist suddenly pulls out across the driver\'s path. The driver can\'t stop in time, and hits the cyclist.

    Was the driver \"speeding,\" or did the cyclist fail to yield?

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  • Jeremy October 23, 2007 at 8:53 pm

    I apologize for copying the same things twice in my last post, my bad.

    Rixtir, the cyclist would have failed to yield, same as if it was a motor vehicle. I see where you are going with this, though it would legally be a different situation. Thanks for clarifying since I was confused about your scenario.

    Antonio Gramsci, I am not confused, maybe I am not doing very well at making myself clear. I know myself I never feel safe riding in a bike lane. Some cars have terrible blind spots, and trucks are so much worse. The only protection supposedly allowed is that motor vehicles are forbidden to use the bike lanes, which is fine with me, given how vunerable a rider is. You do make sense with what you say though, and got it across better than I did.

    I do agree that one cannot ride slow enough to avoid all situations, and to try to do so could end up causing harm. The same happens when driving, it\'s assuming some risk. I really do hope something can be done to help cut down on the risks to riders. I\'m not about to say riders need to be off the road, though there have been times I wished I had better alternatives than a sidewalk.

    And Qwendolyn, no it would not be a cop-out, well, maybe not in my opinion at least. A rider would have been putting him/herself in an unsafe situation, unfortunately something I have seen happen too many times, and it is a problem here in Portland. Maybe enforcement of driving laws will help, both for motorists and riders.

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  • driver-biker-ped October 23, 2007 at 9:22 pm

    Lest us not forget we\'re talking about the loss of a human life. Perhaps all of you should visit http://www.bikegallery.com and you can see this was a vibrant human. As far as fault, who knows - may never find out. But - we all should work with the City on making sure our public facilities are safe for all users, be that design changes, enforcement or new laws. Again, regardless of opinions, a person is DEAD!

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  • Mike Perrault October 23, 2007 at 9:49 pm

    From many of the posts, I\'m starting to believe that it is the cyclist\'s fault that he was run over. Maybe cyclists should start taking the laws of physics into their own hands, because obviously if the laws of physics negate the drivers responsibility then they\'d do the same for the cyclists right? Maybe if we were to take these so called laws of physics and apply them, then guns would turn the tables wouldn\'t we. The reaction between a bullet and a gun is a great example of a few of Newton\'s laws, why not use them? Wouldn\'t that be okay then? I\'m not advocating violence but I am advocating for these cowardly truck drivers to man up and take responsibility for their actions rather than acting like a little bitch and trying to make it someone else\'s fault. Cowards thats all those damn cagers are.

    Mike

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  • BURR October 23, 2007 at 10:04 pm

    @ Jeremy 306. cyclists are allowed to leave the bike lane for a variety of reasons, including hazardous conditions. just because a bike lane is there doesn\'t mean a cyclist has to be in it.

    the city needs to decide whether the infrastructure they put out for cyclists will treat cyclists as vehicles or pedestrians or some hybrid thereof.

    sharrows (shared lane markings) are in my opinion a better treatment than bike lanes, but the city has stalled for over a decade on installing any meaningful distance of sharrows.

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  • [...] a cement mixing truck <em>in the bike lane</em> on Oct. 11, less than two weeks later another cyclist is killed <em>in the bike lane</em>, and another driver is not cited. This is getting way out of [...]

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  • Todd B. October 23, 2007 at 10:31 pm

    To the previous post...there are other limited cases when bike lanes are dashed and thus motorists can then legally merge and cross into them (for turns and such).

    Also motorists can cross un-dashed bike lanes to enter or leave driveways too...that is if they yield to traffic (bicyclists, pedestrians, cars) in the street and sidewalks.

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  • 007 October 23, 2007 at 10:32 pm

    Dear \"Doctor\" (of BS most likely) Ross #172...

    ...you said: \"Thats makes 2 trucks with signals on wanting to make a right turn that bicyclists have come up from behind on only to be squashed. Law or no law, both bicylists IGNORED visual clues and literally pedaled to the other side.\" (obviously not a Phd in English)

    May I suggest you see a real doctor for a mental health evaluation as your remarks are quite callous.

    1. Oftentimes drivers put their signal on AFTER you have passed them just before stopping at a light. Then, when the light turns green and you think you can safely go straight, what do they do? They turn right! I have had someone yell at me for not yielding because of this.

    2. Reports say Tracey was in the driver\'s blind spot at the intersection. I find that hard to believe. Why would she be way back there? Here\'s what I think happened. She was near the front of the truck. The driver was looking left for traffic to clear and began to slowly turn right before looking right and ran right over Tracey.

    This happened to me once when I was waiting at the right front of a van at 28th & Sandy. I deliberately went near the front of him so he could see me. The driver was looking left for traffic and started to turn right. I felt him bumping me and my bike got pushed underneath me and the front of the van before he looked to the right and saw what he was doing. I got a big gash in my leg from the chain ring and my rear derailuer was damaged. People in cars in the intersection were incensed. I ran around the van and ripped open his door ready to punch him (my adrenaline was so pumped) but he had a conciliatory look on his face and I didn\'t.

    And what happened to Brett nearly happened to me when a driver in a city pickup right-hooked me at the bottom of the little hill on Broadway at NW Hoyt by the post office. He had just passed me up the hill a ways. It was raining and I couldn\'t stop despite hard braking. I knicked his rear end after sliding to a stop. He kept going. I had lots of witnesses who chased him down and he came back. The cop, Fender, refused to ticket him for failing to yield, or even for leaving the scene of an accident. The city employee blamed ME and said I was going too fast. I got a lawyer and demanded an apology from the employee (I wasn\'t hurt and I didn\'t ask for money). The city didn\'t respond within the required number of days so I did end up getting some money along with a written apology and admission that he should have yielded to the bike lane.

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  • Antonio Gramsci October 23, 2007 at 10:40 pm

    Unless I\'m missing something, the picture on Google Streetscape, http://tinyurl.com/2tcr56, which seems to correlate accurately with the one in the kgw article (http://tinyurl.com/2qf5kd), suggests that it would hardly have been possible for the truck driver to have made \"a wide turn\" from a lane \"to the left\" of Brett\'s. What lane? There appears to be precisely one lane, and a (narrow) bike lane. To all appearances, it looks as though Brett may have made much the same mistake as Tracy Sparling did not two weeks ago.

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  • Joe Rowe October 23, 2007 at 11:15 pm

    I could not sleep last night thinking about Brett. In 25 years of riding 2,000 miles a year I\'ve been in contact with a car only 3 times. Each time my defensive actions could not avoid the illegal actions of car drivers. These 3 true stories tell a lot:

    Brett can\'t tell his story, so we should tell our stories:

    1) I was hit with a car door while in a lane of moving traffic. The parked car driver failed to look and opened her door, possibly the most common car-bike contact. Driver said it was her fault.

    2) Bright, dry, day. A car failed to yield when she made a left turn into path of another car and my bike going straight in the opposite direction. The young female driver had her stereo at extreme volume as witnesses showed up on scene. Police refused to issue a ticket; said I was not injured enough. I was 19 and not aware of my rights. The driver gave me phone numbers and had out of state ID and vehicle tags. The phone numbers were fake, and when I found her car weeks later the police refused to take any action. The driver claimed she had no money and no insurance. I paid $300 to get a new bike. I could not afford to take her to civil or small claims court.

    3) A Jeep driven by a male college student pulled out of a blind private driveway covered by tall, thick vegetation. The driveway crossed a bike only path in a rural area. The driver lived at the location and knew of the conditions. The Jeep driver drove out rapidly on the driveway in front of my group of 6 neon-wearing cyclists. The day was bright and dry. We were going about 15mph. My bike skid marks were 7 feet long. Driver refused 5 requests to call police on his cell phone, had to be ordered to turn off engine and call police. We were in Canada where our cell phones did not work well. A Canadian officer arrived and issued a ticket to the Jeep driver for failure to yield. The officer said the driver refused to admit any fault to him. The officer suggested the owner cut down vegetation and install mirrors. The car driver\'s insurance paid to fix my totaled bike. Insurance person tried to tell me the \"onus\" was on me. I\'m filing a complaint on the agent. She should lose her job. It took me 2 months to feel safe on a bike again.

    What is my bike resume? A lot like Brett\'s. I was a downtown bike courier. I\'ve bike raced 6 years on the road, track, and mountain bike. I\'ve bike commuted 20 years. I wear down one set of good tires each year and rims about every 3 years.

    Fact: A majority of car-bike contact (90%) comes when motor vehicles don\'t show caution and break laws, causing collisions with bikes. In a majority of these contact events the cops let the motor vehicle drivers go with no ticket. Even when there are living witnesses, a majority of these car drivers lie about their illegal actions on the scene and after the event. Cars turn normal people into lying, angry, self-deceptive driving criminals and creeps.

    Anyone who has spent a significant bit of time on a bike in car traffic shares these facts. Car drivers cause a majority of car-bike contact and then lie about it.

    Signed, Joe

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  • Antonio Gramsci October 24, 2007 at 12:17 am

    People:
    There are plenty of ways for drivers to kill us that we can do little to prevent. However, there are SOME very common ways for them to kill us that we are amply able to prevent if we are conscientious about them. The \"right hook\" scenario that seems to have killed both Starling and Jarolimek is one of them!!!

    I sincerely hope that everyone here who commutes regularly will henceforth make a very concerted effort to NEVER, while proceeding straight through an intersection or exit, put themselves in a position to the right of a lane from which a vehicle could make a legal exit or right turn, regardless of whether any vehicle has signalled such a turn or not!!!

    There is simply no good reason to set oneself up for such a hazard, that I can see. The only exception I can think of would be if you suddenly found yourself in such a suicide slot due to a blind curve in a roadway you were unfamiliar with. In that case, I think I would try to slow down and MERGE OVER into the through-traffic lane as soon as it was safe to do so.

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  • wsbob October 24, 2007 at 12:38 am

    Yup. (#318) Some people here gave me a lot of heat when I told of one of the things I have done in past when driving. Other drivers commonly do this: Motor vehicle driver gets to the intersection, but if the light is red, the turn signal stays off while the light goes through the cycle. Light turns green, turn signal goes on, and the driver proceeds with their turn. Is this what the garbage truck driver did?

    I never, ever have had a problem doing this until I found myself driving next to bike lanes. I don\'t drive very much, so getting in the habit of leaving the signal on when I\'m next to the bike lane, takes some remembering. A lot of roads don\'t have bike lanes, so it\'s not a constant.

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  • sarah222 October 24, 2007 at 2:44 am

    Please stop referring to Brett like some average child rider, he was a very experienced cyclist.
    He had unbelievable skill at biking and would not be so \"in the clouds\" as a lot of you have put him.
    This was his profession and I\'m sure he was riding defensively.
    Motor and Monster vehicle drivers need to stop being in such a hurry, look twice-three times, it\'s one more second.
    --and please don\'t forget Brett a 31yr old has lost his life here...very sorry to his family and loved ones.

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  • Qwendolyn October 24, 2007 at 7:44 am

    In response to post #319:

    Under the law, the bicycle lane is considered a lane like any other lane. That is exactly the point.

    There were two lanes here. The car lane and the bike lane. The car lane is the left lane.

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  • P October 24, 2007 at 7:48 am

    It\'s a lot easier for the bike rider to spot the truck than it is for the truck driver to spot the bike rider...Just because riders and pedestrians have the right of way doesn\'t mean that they don\'t have to watch out for cars/trucks. I see this in downtown all the time. People jump out into the streets all the time without looking for waiting for their light to turn green.

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  • NoPo guy October 24, 2007 at 8:24 am

    #319

    I think the primary factor in this accident is that the cyclist was overtaking traffic at more than 10 times the velocity of the \"flow\" ?

    As has been so abundantly pointed out- it\'s the resposibility of all vehicle operators to travel at a safe speed to avoid collisions- regardles of the right of way.

    Doing 25-30 mph where everyone else is stopped, or traveling very slow is a recipe for disaster.

    Had this unlucky cyclist been going the same speed, or even only 2 or 3x the speed of the truck this probably wouldn\'t have happened.

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  • bigdawg October 24, 2007 at 8:58 am

    When will the cyclist learn they too must look out for themselves; just because they have a lane to ride in does not give them carte blanc to ride through an intersection with out first looking all directions;
    did their**MOTHERS** not teach them as they were going up, look before you leap.
    When the cities and counties install rules of the road for the cyclists, and the cyclist obey those rules will you have less fatalities on the roads.
    when cyclist want to be a pedestrian and be a moving vehicle they need to know what the rules are and with none inplace they themselves make their self a target.
    remember 3500lbs. to 40,000lbs, Vs. 45lbs. and a 100-165lb. human being who do you think is going to win every time ????????????
    Remember it does take two to **TANGO**

    Loss of life is all to tragic,

    So Cyclist STOP THE INSANITY

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  • Lisa October 24, 2007 at 9:15 am

    NoPo: It\'s hard to credit the argument that the cyclist\'s speed was \"the primary factor\" when the same thing happened when the cyclist was at (or practically at) a dead stop not two weeks ago.

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  • Stu October 24, 2007 at 11:21 am

    We all jump to conclusions. I\'ll admit, that when I heard the cyclist\'s identity, my instant judgement was that he was experienced enough that it likely wasn\'t his fault. Then, I realised that the logic there was absurd; partly because it\'s too presumptious, but also because an experienced person doesn\'t always take fewer risks.

    We\'ll never know all the facts here, but what we do know - steep downhill, dry conditions, and someone who\'s on what looks like a fast bike who regularly RACES - means that I\'d be extremely surprised if he was below the speed limit all the way down the hill. All of you complaining that the truck driver was technically breaking the law need to remember the strong possibility that the cyclist was technically breaking the law as well.

    Does that mean the truck driver is blameless? Of course not. Like many (most?) collisions, with the exception of doors opening, it\'s almost certain that it would have been avoided by either party doing things differently / better. In the incident two weeks ago, the cyclist seems to have been blameless and unlucky; this time, it\'s much less clearcut. It\'s not always the fault of one or the other; it\'s very often somewhere in between.

    Debating possible law changes in the aftermath of this incident is potentially very useful. Debating ways the council could make the roads safer is potentially very useful (especially with a mayoral election coming up soon, and a leading candidate who professes to be keen to address these issues). However, there\'s two things that are very clear to me:

    1. If you rely on everyone else obeying the laws, whatever those laws may be, you\'re going to end up killing yourself. You can take all the moral high ground you like and say that it shouldn\'t be like that, but it is. I guess that\'s your perogative.

    2. If you feed the bike vs car antipathy, by blaming drivers for everything and thinking all cyclists are wonderful, you\'re going to increase driver\'s frustration and make them more aggresive. And that\'s going to end up killing me. That certainly is not your perogative.

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  • john October 24, 2007 at 12:33 pm

    Bigdawg and other car centric fools, I tell you what, lets give all cyclists pistols to carry. Pistols with hair triggers. When the cyclists has an \"accident\" and the gun accidentally goes off, Oops too bad we did mean to hurt you! That\'s how it can feel like riding a bicycle or being a pedestrian. \"Well then don\'t ride a bicycle\" you say, \"get a car\".

    So you going to buy me a car? Are you going to fill the tank? Pay my insurance? Are you going to fork over extra billions for new roads, bridges, road repair because of the extra drivers? Are you going to be happy when your kid gets asthma or cancer cause of the extra exhaust? Are you going to be happy when I \"accidentally\" run into you with my SUV and kill and maim some of your family? (40,000 dead from car accidents per year in the US, it _will_ happen to someone you know). Are you going to fork over the extra money for health care? (and one could go on and on and on… Yeah why don\'t we stop the insanity!)

    Its a Basic Human Right to be able to transport yourself via your own human power and it should take precedence over all other transportation on all LOCs (Lines of communication). Period. To view this in any other light is crap. Its about Freedom from being forced to drive a vehicle, if one wishes. Freedom from fear of getting killed. Sure I frown when another fellow cyclist bends the vehicular laws. But really, deep down, I don\'t really care; they can\'t kill me, But mainly because by riding a bicycle, as simple as it can be, they are doing the RIGHT thing, a great thing, a \"I love my community, my city, my state, my nation sort of thing\". An \"I love my fellow human beings\", so much that I choose not to poison them, I choose not to put them in harms ways, I choose human power!\" In short, cyclists(even those with shortcomings), pedestrians, etc., are doing a great service to all and they should be protected and embraced by all to the furthest extent possible. To do anything else, in my opinion, is un-Patriotic. Having taken a half decade out of my life wearing a uniform and spending time in the gulf, most think that is patriotic and gives me some say, but I think that riding bicycle, doing what you can, doing what\'s right, everyday, the little things, now that\'s an American.

    That all slighty dramatic stuff said, I really think that making drivers have to watch out for things behind them on the right is too much to ask. It\' so damned dangerous. I hate passing on the right, IT\' just NOT NATURAL, responsibility for MY LIFE now switches to the driver AND I AM not in his field of view. This is crazy. This is nuts. Think about it! But the freaking bike lane forces me to do this. I dont like it.

    I mean come on people really logically think this through. If I were directly in the drivers field of vision then I have no problem, but when driving or riding or piloting, the number one rule is to watch where you are going and be responsible for that, not watch where you were!

    We need to change the way the right turning and bicycle lane interact. Wide shoulders without being a \"bike lane\" would be much safer. Having Cars move over into the bike lane to turn is much safer too. We need to do away with laws that give cyclists a false sense of safety. We need to do away with laws that Bait cyclists into a dangerous situation. LESS Law = Better.

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  • Antonio Gramsci October 24, 2007 at 12:51 pm

    john 331:
    Finally. You said it, \"not natural,\" thank you! The very infeasibility of being able to see a vehicle hugging the road shoulder travelling 15 miles an hour or faster should speak for itself!! People can blame motorists til the cows come home, but it won\'t save lives compared to simply not creating such a hazard in the first place, which we (cyclists) amply have the power to avoid doing in this particular case. So why not do so???

    And I agree with you on laws and bike lanes: they need to be changed when they are conflicting with this commonsense approach.

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  • Antonio Gramsci October 24, 2007 at 12:58 pm

    Just to clarify: the infeasibility I\'m referring to is the infeasibility of being able to crane one\'s neck inside a motor vehicle and see behind one\'s vehicle another vehicle hugging the road shoulder and moving at high enough velocity from behind to be able to nail you before you\'ve finished your right turn, while still only appearing as a speck if visible at all. That is the probable scenario in a case like this, with a bike travelling ~30mph downhill in the bike lane.

    Yes, the motorist SHOULD have seen the cyclist after he passed him, and anticipated his later approach from behind without needing to crane his neck and see him approaching from the rear. And if wishes were horses...

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  • David Dean October 24, 2007 at 1:13 pm

    John 331:

    \"I really think that making drivers have to watch out for things behind them on the right is too much to ask. It\' so damned dangerous. I hate passing on the right, IT\' just NOT NATURAL, responsibility for MY LIFE now switches to the driver AND I AM not in his field of view. This is crazy. This is nuts. Think about it! But the freaking bike lane forces me to do this. I dont like it.\"

    Well put. Thank you.

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  • NoPo guy October 24, 2007 at 2:51 pm

    lisa #329

    If I were talking about that previous accident I wouldn\'t have made the same observation- since they are unrelated events.

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  • Caoimhin October 24, 2007 at 3:04 pm

    The presumption always seems to be that the cyclist was at fault. Motorists, police, pedestrians, and even many cyclists believe this. I don\'t. On numerous occasions, i\'ve had cars pull out in front of me, turn in front of me and right hook me. I\'ve often had cars ride inside the bike lane with me (4 times in the past two weeks in NoPo. Each time was a narrow miss. Only luck saved me. Part of the problem is that over the past couple years, the local media have stirred up enmity between motorists and cyclists. Well, now the media is profiting from their stories. Motorists have developed a high disregard for cyclists. Everybody knows that you can run down a cyclist with impunity. It\'ll just be treated as the cyclist\'s fault, or just an unfortunate event. Had any of the cyclists killed this year been pedestrians, there would have been citations, but cyclists don\'t count. They\'re not people, they\'re not dads, moms, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters or close friends. They\'re cyclists! You know, they\'re those skofflaws who don\'t share the road and don\'t obey traffic rules. Cyclists have a huge public relations problem with the motoring public. We get no respect, and perhaps that\'s because some bikers are spoiling it for the entire cycling population. Personally, I\'ve been cycling for 30 years, and whereas I used to feel a comraderie with fellow cyclists on the road, I\'ve now come to loathe them. The urban environment is no place to jump into a stranger\'s slipstream unannounced. Either pass me or back off! And if you pass me, give me loud audible warning and distance. If I can reach out and touch you, you\'re too close to me. And if you cut me off when I have the right of way at an intersection, you\'ll get plenty of verbal feedback from me. I\'ll leave you all with this thought, from a recent Wall Street Journal blog:
    October 22, 2007, 6:09 pm
    Should Cyclists Run Red Lights?
    Should cyclists stop at red lights? Bike riders generally are required to obey traffic signals, but some treat lights as advisories, cruising through intersections while watching for cars. It sounds risky, but in fact cyclists might be doing their best in the face of poorly designed traffic laws, Alex Marshall writes on Streetsblog, which advocates more pedestrian-friendly streets. Making cyclists stop at lights can trap bikes in a dangerous swarm of automobiles, while proceeding through a red light separates bikes from car traffic.

    Instead, says Mr. Marshall, what’s needed is a separate system of traffic laws. In particular, cyclists could be allowed to cross intersections a few seconds before cars at some lights, as happens in Montreal. Another school of thought says that cyclists should act like motorists and take up entire traffic lanes. While that might make sense occasionally, bikes would be safer with an entirely different and looser set of regulations than cars, says Mr. Marshall.

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  • Lisa October 24, 2007 at 3:05 pm

    I guess my point is they are *not* unrelated events. I think the primary factor in each is an unworkable law that allows a lane of right-turning traffic to cross a lane of through-going traffic with no control signal, instead relying on drivers to always notice and yield to smaller vehicles behind and/or to their right.

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  • kg October 24, 2007 at 3:09 pm

    For all of those who keep trying to blame cyclists for these deaths by pointing out that there are cyclists who don\'t obey the law, specifically the case of running stop signs, I would like to point out that none of these deaths are a result of that and that in almost every case it is the motorist who is breaking the law. From my experience as a cyclist and an automobile driver people in automobiles break the law at a much higher rate than any other segment society.

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  • Camilo Torres October 24, 2007 at 5:03 pm

    How hard is it, really, to avoid a right hook, my fellow cyclists??!

    Once again, I challenge you: There are many ways that motorists can kill us, but there a few of the most common ways that they do in fact often kill us that are totally within our power to prevent.

    Why, oh why, do we prefer to debate this endlessly rather than merely take these simple measures??:

    Merge into thru-traffic lanes whenever a legal exit or right turn comes to the right of a bike lane.

    Try to always adopt a position in the roadway closest to your intended direction of travel.

    These procedures are known from generations of experience to minimize collisions and save lives.

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  • Camilo Torres October 24, 2007 at 5:22 pm

    Caoimhin:
    This kind of argument (from the WSJ) is an often expressed sentiment. But it is poorly reasoned and unsupported by any statistical evidence, or logic.

    The rules of the road are NOT designed exclusively for cars. They have evolved over time from the days of the horse and buggy and depend for their logic on elements of Euclidean geometry and Newtonian physics that have changed not a whit since the first wheeled vehicles known to man.

    Example: adopt a position in the roadway closest to your intended direction of travel.

    Logic: Euclidean geometry as well as probability and statistics: your path will intersect with that of fewer other vehicles and reduce the probabilities of an accident occurring

    Example: slower moving traffic keeps right. Faster moving traffic moves towards the center of the road.

    Logic: once again, Euclidean geometry as well as elements of Newtonian mechanics. The faster moving vehicle will gain on other vehicles faster than it can be sighted if it is in a position hugging the road shoulder.

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  • Bujerbiker October 24, 2007 at 5:25 pm

    I think no matter what we (bikers) are F@#$d. Both of the most recent tragedies were artists. So how about a bicycle park with a bicycle memorial to those who have died. A sculpture celebrating the bicyclist and a memorial remembering those that died. I will pledge $50 to start such a movement.Forget arguing with car centric people lets dedicate a space for peaceful remembrance wher like minds can gather.

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  • rixtir October 24, 2007 at 6:54 pm

    I think no matter what we (bikers) are F@#$d. Both of the most recent tragedies were artists. So how about a bicycle park with a bicycle memorial to those who have died. A sculpture celebrating the bicyclist and a memorial remembering those that died. I will pledge $50 to start such a movement.Forget arguing with car centric people lets dedicate a space for peaceful remembrance wher like minds can gather.

    In Forest Park, perhaps?

    Brett\'s memorial ride is there, and the park is already host to other memorials, so it seems like a good candidate for a cyclist memorial...

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  • bigdawg October 24, 2007 at 7:50 pm

    331 John

    NO I am not going to buy you a car or SUV or even a big truck, you like to ride your bicycle and I commend you too that. but passing on the right even for a vehicle is against the law in Oregon in most cases.

    now to afford being struck by a automobile/truck when they are turning right there is a solution that most have over looked!!!!!!why not ride on the opposite side of the street bikeway pave/lane so everyone can see you North,South, East and West. No blind spots at all, nowhere, nodda, zilch, not even.

    you can see the cars/trucks coming at you turning in front of you what more do you need.

    a location in front of the stop line keeping automobiles/trucks behind those lines just so maybe **maybe** a bicyclist will appear to occupy that space then the cyclist decides he wants to turn right but opps, here we go again, he gets out in to deadly ground.

    not to say that there are more automobiles/trucks than there are bicycles, we the owner of those vehicles are forced to waste our gas. and yes I am most certain that you own an automobile or truck and need to put gas into it as I do. there will always be a need for vehicles and as well the need for humans to ride there bicycle\'s.

    what is the most clear answer, be as a BUSH Nuke all **Dumb** isn\'t it

    try and get along **time is after all-time** and we only have a limited amount of it here on earth.

    bigdawg

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  • Jerry October 24, 2007 at 9:02 pm

    \"...why not ride on the opposite side of the street bikeway pave/lane so everyone can see you North,South, East and West. No blind spots at all, nowhere, nodda, zilch, not even.\"

    That presents another set of problems. On one way streets there are the fewest problems putting the bike lane on the left, except that it puts bicycles where many motorist might decide to use the space as a passing lane. On two ways streets add the fact that bicycles are in the center of all traffic - and where motorists are likely to use the space to pass going both directions.

    I think a left side bike lane could be even more hazardous.

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  • Drew October 24, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    The bike riders who obey the law are now getting lumped in with the idiots who don\'t. Just like the drivers. I watched 10 people blow the red light a block from the broadway bridge. I work close by and have watch out for these bikers. Maybe they should be arrested and takin to jail. So who is at fault if they get run over. I bet everyone here would be screaming for the driver to go to jail...

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  • Stu October 25, 2007 at 10:33 am

    bigdawg...

    Not a good idea to bike in the opposite bike lane. Partly because it would require redoing every traffic signal in town, and cause massive confusion while the process in ongoing, so the short term costs (in terms of extra collisions) would be huge. There\'s also the fact that drivers won\'t be expecting you to be there; in-town drivers will get used to it soon enough, but out-of-towners will cause fatalities.

    But more importantly in the long term, it means that the \'effective speed\' of any collision would be much higher. At the moment, impact speed = driver\'s speed - cyvlist\'s speed. You would change it to impact speed = driver\'s speed + cyclist\'s speed. That\'s why at the moment whenever I\'m riding on the sidewalk (which occasionally is the safest option outside downtown), I always try to ride on the same side of the road as the traffic.

    Still, it\'s always good to consider every possibility.

    From what I\'ve heard about Sam Adams\' transport plans, he could easily be persuaded to give us more \'bike boxes\' at signals, in front of motor vehicles. That way you\'re either completely in front of them, or just stay completely behind them, and never alongside. That wouldn\'t have stopped this week\'s collision, but may have stopped the last one.

    The only person who thinks \"you\'re either with us or against us\" makes sense is George Bush. That means that any cyclists who get antagonistic towards all car drivers are of the same intelligence level as Bush supporters...

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  • Lenny Anderson October 25, 2007 at 10:55 am

    A couple of thoughts...
    Greeley and Interstate is an unusual intersection, and the truck movement...from s-bound Interstate onto n-bound Greeley...is uncommon; few vehicles make it. Perhaps it should just be closed and that right turn not allowed with the curb extended to provide a space for a memorial to Brett and other cyclists who have died.
    Jaywalking is said by some to be the safest way to cross a street...no presumptions of right-of-way, heightened awareness. The same could be said for cycling...had the victim at 14th & w. Burnside seen a gap and run the light across Burnside, she would have lived. Most cyclists who have been killed of late were following the law, in the lane, etc. I ran a red yesterday because I did not want to be caught standing in the middle of the left turn lane on the bike marking waiting for the green. When it comes to being on a bike, legal is not necessarily safe; illegal is often safer.

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  • Mitchell T Shults October 25, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    Everyone: When descending Interstate - TAKE THE LANE. If the idiot truck driver honks, it\'s his problem. You have an absolute right to protect your safety. This is the only way to do it at this intersection. Trust no one.

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  • Mike October 25, 2007 at 2:59 pm

    For those interested, a pretty good book on safe, intelligent city cycling is Robert Hurst\'s \'The Art of Cycling\'.

    Re: education: I agree its a good thing, but it takes more than education to wake people up and change deeply ingrained habits and attitudes. Drivers generally feel entitled to dominate the road, and to treat the speed limit -- or more typically some speed 5 or 10 mph over the speed limit -- as a speed minumum. And, the bigger the vehicle, the more entitled the driver seems to feel.

    This is pure bully mentality stuff, and its arguably a direct result of excessive travel in fully enclosed single occupant vehicles. Some folks get so full of this bull(y)sh**t that they can\'t get it out of their systems on the road, and must search the internet for tragic accident stories so they can blame and denigrate deceased victims. A weird, but apparently common, hobby -- these people seem to pop up in droves every time one of these stories is released.

    So, education? Sure. But cultivation of basic human decency and respect for life is needed, too. Without that, we\'re likely to remain on track to becoming a culture of well-informed, clever bullies.

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  • Calvin October 25, 2007 at 3:51 pm

    I\'d like to first send my condolences to the family of Brett Jarolimek.

    I\'m not from Oregon, I\'ve never visited/lived in the state, but I\'ve lived in Chicago for four years, and understand the knuckle headed feelings that both cyclists and car drivers can have towards the respective vehicle operators. For every bully car driver, there is an over zealous cyclist.

    I\'m a fourth year physics student, and what seems to be the situation here is a mistake in judgement by both parties. From what I\'ve read in the article the hill seems to be long enough to reach speeds of 40 mph on a bike. Add in the intermitent effects of drafting that a truck like the garbage truck has speeds will increase for the cyclist as the truck passes. Which means more distance is covered in a shorter amount of time. When the truck driver looked in his mirror, the cyclist could have been in the blind spot (not that far behind the truck driver subsequently). The truck driver took this as the cyclist being a safe distance behind the truck. When the trucker started his turn, the cyclist reactsed fast (as we (bikers) all would in that situation) applying too much pressure to the brakes and causing the wheels to lock up. A skidding wheel comes to a complete stop in a longer distance than a rolling wheel. The lack of stopping ability and the intial speed of the cyclist means the required stopping distance is dramatically greater than the distance given to stop before the truck. Thus a crash is inevitable.

    I don\'t mean to say that all car-bicycle events are neither person\'s fault. Responsibility is required from both bicycle riders and car drivers. Regardless of your view of what should be on the road or not, you must give space when passing, or allowing the car to pass as safely as possible. In terms of cycling, I\'ve been hit before due to driver\'s mistake, and the only thing I won was the case for compensation. A car will always come out on top of a collision so bike riders need to do their part and get to a location either away from the vehicle or where the driver can see you clearly. Being defensive as a cyclist is the only way to minimize dangers riding a bike.

    Unfortunately, and tragically, defense is not always enough. My prayers are with both the garbage truck driver and the cyclist\'s family because both have to realize a saddening truth.

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  • Collin October 25, 2007 at 4:19 pm

    My deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Brett.

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  • Bailey October 25, 2007 at 4:30 pm

    Dan @ pdxtransit.com wrote a short blurb about the recent cycling related fatalities in the area.

    http://pdxtransit.com/wordpress/2007/10/25/cycling-fatalities-mount/

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  • Joshua October 25, 2007 at 7:11 pm

    If the biker hit the truck at the back tires, then the biker was in the known \"blind spot\" that is pictured at EVERY DMV in Oregon(and on some of the driving manuals). With or without convexed mirrors, objects within those areas (both sides and the rear of the vehicle) are extremely hard to see. The public is CONSTANTLY reminded to be wary of these spots and to drive(bike) in these zones is an accident waiting to happen. This is not to say that either one is legally right/wrong, only that when a bike tries to play tag with a motorized vehicle---they tend to lose. Go figure, perhaps the ppl crying about the trucker not learning about the constant of objects should take a course on physics. Big object weighing in at 40,000lbs to 80,000lbs vs. little object just under 300lbs = crushed little object. But, someone is still unwise enough to try, each time, to argue with big object that can\'t stop on a dime, is slow to turn, and has known blind spots. Not hard to figure out who is going to win that initial portion of that battle.

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  • Bujerbiker October 25, 2007 at 7:28 pm

    RIGHT ON Brother Lenny Anderson!!! More times than not the illegal move is the safest. Run the light, run the stop sign if it means you can put distance between you and a car. Today I ran a light because the car next to me had the directional on and I wasn\'t sure if sitting there waiting for his move was safe. Only you can determmine what is safe. Bikers can not be expected to second guess every car or truck that puts on a signal. Watch their tires, watch there eyes, if the tires turn or the eyes look vacant, take evasive action. If this sounds a little paranoid maybe it is. Many (most)cars/trucks will give you the right of way or even yield the right of way to you. The problem is they all look the same and you can\'t tell the difference until it is to late. The Hawthorne bridge is the most biked path across the river but as you come off the bridge into town cars are cutting across bikers to turn right. THis has been going on for years. You cannot expect any politician to look at less used intersections if they ignore the obvious. The safest ride in town will always be a critical mass ride.

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  • John R October 25, 2007 at 8:22 pm

    Let me get this right. You and a car were stopped next to each other at a red traffic signal and, fearing for your safety, you ran through the red because he put his turn signal on to indicate he was going to turn right? Did you think he was going to move sideways? Why not do what you just suggested? Look directly at him. Move up a little in front just to make certain he sees you. Then, jus to top it off, wave to him to thank him for putting on his signal. I think you created another example for a motorist to conclude that most bicyclists ignore all laws. How about being cautious, watchful, friendly and courteous to other road users? That motorist may be on the jury when some cyclist needs allies to recover from a really bad motorist.

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  • Bujerbiker October 25, 2007 at 9:17 pm

    So the onus is on the cyclist to make eye contact and try to engage the driver? The driver may be on his/her cell phone they may be text messaging, they may be watching a video, or they may just be day dreaming. What I am suggesting is that running a red (if clear) is sometimes safer and would have saved at least one cyclist this month. My experience in 30 years of cycle commuting is that you will have to put up with dangerous drivers (potentially deadly drivers) daily. It only makes the news when a bicyclist dies, but dangerous, near disastrous events happen to cyclists every day! To my knowledge a car driver has never been killed by a law breaking cyclist and most cyclist deaths/injuries appear to occur to law abiding cyclists. No matter how reckless a cyclist is they rarely cause injury to the innocent, the opposite is not true of the auto/truck driver. Had the recent tragedies all occurred to flagrant law breaking cyclists, I would feel completely different. I would like to hear from even one cyclist who can say they have commuted for a few years and never once felt threatened by a car or truck. These threats come from a minority of drivers, many drivers are more than courteous. The problem is I am not able to tell the difference. Some of the mellowest looking people have proven to be the biggest threat. Me, I stick to back roads and sidewalks. I am trully afraid to be out on the streets of this town. I see my self in similar situations to Brett and the other woman and but for the grace of god I am still alive because by luck or chance the driver I interacted with saw me or I saw them and acted first. I am no different.. except I am still alive.. but only by the grace of the gods. Peace and bikespeed.

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  • rixtir October 25, 2007 at 9:56 pm

    To my knowledge a car driver has never been killed by a law breaking cyclist

    Your knowledge is incomplete, then.

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  • Antonio Gramsci October 26, 2007 at 3:02 am

    Yep. We\'re in big trouble, when someone who is a \"30 year cycle commuter\" regularly puts himself in the insanely hazardous, completely avoidable suicide slot position that Brett Jarolimek apparently did. It\'s horrific that a talented and wonderful human being died as a result, and if more people who already think they know it all about cycling aren\'t willing to look at the road with fresh eyes as a result of such a tragedy, and really examine the safety or lack thereof of their riding habits, then there will be more senseless, preventable deaths still.

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  • not a lawyer October 26, 2007 at 9:05 am

    I have a solution for the Insterstate renaming issue.

    Name the street Brett Jarolimek Avenue.

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  • Tom Curtin October 26, 2007 at 10:36 am

    I drove by this accident site shortly after it occurred. I saw the bike crushed under the wheels. I saw the rider motionless under the truck. It is a vision I won\'t forget for a while, if ever.

    In the industry where I come from, after an accident, it\'s always asked \"how could this accident been prevented.\"

    I have two ideas that I\'ve passed on to the City\'s Office of Transportation. I\'m writing because I don\'t know if my suggestions will have any effect.

    First, coming down Interstate, right before the intersection, the road curves and just for an instant, the rider is \"blind\" to what\'s ahead. It\'s during that instant of being blind to what\'s ahead when the rider would have to make a decision to start to slow down or stop. After that moment, it would be too late, expecially if the rider is going downhill at a pretty good clip. Suggestion: install a warning sign for bicyclists.

    At the same intersection riders and drivers coming down the hill should be aware of \"another accident waiting to happen.\" That is, cars on Greeley are allowed to turn right onto Interstate during a red light. Again, just as there\'s a blind spot for riders, there\'s a blind spot for drivers as they look left, and back, up the hill before turning. To see sufficiently, one has to inch one\'s car way out into the intersection (practically under the signal device) to see if it\'s safe to turn. But you still couldn\'t see someone in time if they were coming at a good clip (whether a bike or car). Suggestion: make it illegal to turn right onto Interstate on a red light.

    Safety first,
    Tom Curtin

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  • Lenny Anderson October 26, 2007 at 11:38 am

    If these accidents had occurred at worksites, you know that OHSA would be on top of it, looking at equipment, safety procedures, training, etc., and probably issuing some fines. Workers Comp would also come into play as well with the likelihood of hight premiums for the employer. Out on the street there are no citations, no liability, no nothing to incent an organization to reduce the liklihood of death or injury.

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  • rixtir October 26, 2007 at 1:25 pm

    Of course there\'s liability out on the street. Just because Kruger looks the other way doesn\'t mean there won\'t be a day of reckoning in the judicial system, and that day of reckoning will be the incentive for AGG, Rinker, and every other trucking company in this town to reduce the likelihood of death and injury.

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  • Antonio Gramsci October 26, 2007 at 2:47 pm

    Again, folks, as a cyclist, I feel I can\'t emphasize enough that in this case, Brett Jarolimek was fully able to avoid this accident IF he had taken the lane. A vehicle travelling as fast as he would have been going to have been going too fast to avoid the truck should probably be moving towards the center of the road. That is consistent with the general rules of the road: slower moving traffic keeps right, faster moving moves towards the center.

    It is not here a question of seeking out someone to blame, but of observing that there are whole classes of accidents that we, as cyclists, have the power to completely avoid. And following that strategy will immensely increase our own safety, much more than anything anyone else can do for us by changing laws, or business practices, or safety devices, etc, etc.

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  • Bujerbiker October 26, 2007 at 7:09 pm

    \"We\'re in big trouble, when someone who is a \"30 year cycle commuter\" regularly puts himself in the insanely hazardous,\"
    This has been good and a bit therapeutic so thanks for the sound advice and comments from all. I am paying attention! I am not so sure I put myself in any situation other than to climb on my bike in the morning and leave my house... I do not think of myself as one of the \"people who already think they know it all about cycling\" but I have experienced a few things. I was the first person on the scene of the 2002 \"right hook death\" that killed a woman cyclist at 37th and Sandy. That moment changed me forever. In 2004 I had a bus pull up next to me put his signal on and proceed to move into the bike lane I was in. Had I not sharply braked I would have been injured or ... I have laid my bike down as a car turned sharply in front of me into an angled parking spot with no warning and no signal. My bike ended up under the car, but I was uninjured. I move into every intersection with my head moving left and right to check for cars whether I have the right of way or not. I am one paranoid biker... but the joy of the ride is still with me. So I ride. Again thanks for your thoughts it shows how diverse the cycling community is. A special thanks to Rixtir, antonio and Lenny for sharing their heartfelt thoughts and I really like not a lawyers idea to rename interstate ave. Peace and bikespeed to all. boozerbiker

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  • george October 27, 2007 at 3:52 pm

    bad break for bikers - there\'s always someone to blame. good luck .

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  • Keith January 10, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    \"I tell you what, lets give all cyclists pistols to carry. Pistols with hair triggers. When the cyclists has an \"accident\" and the gun accidentally goes off, Oops too bad we did mean to hurt you\"

    Part of a rant from an earlier post, by a \"can\'t do anything wrong because I am a bicyclist\" bicyclist! So we want to resort to violence? That\'s the way to solve the problem buddy! Glad to see we have educated bicyclists calling motorists fools!

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  • Keith January 10, 2008 at 7:08 pm

    37th and Sandy. That moment changed me forever.

    You Morons!!!!! 37th and Sandy Blvd is a freeway on ramp!!!!! What is a bicyclist doing riding a bicycle past that on ramp anyways???? Just an example of stupid bicyclists being where they shouldn\'t. The bicyclist should have been two blocks north on Broadway, where there is a BOING!!! Bikelane!!!!! God this pisses me off.!!!!

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  • [...] happened again. Another truck driver turned right at an intersection and killed a bicyclist in the bike lane. Once [...]

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  • Bjorn July 14, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    An interesting streetsblog post about how garbage trucks have a much higher fatality rate than other vehicles and that private garbage services in New York are worse than public dept. of sanitation trucks.

    http://www.streetsblog.org/2010/07/13/see-a-pattern-of-deadly-dump-trucks-don%E2%80%99t-bother-federal-safety-officials/

    Perhaps more needs to be done about the size and driving habits of these trucks.

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